New Delhi, June27: Stressing that the government's top priority is eliminating poverty, Union Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday,June 27 urged commercial banks to scale up lending to the urban poor for setting up micro-enterprises.
In his inaugural address at the National Conference on 'Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM)' here, Naidu emphasised on the need for enhanced credit flow to the Self-Help Groups and for self-employment under the Mission.
He asserted that loan repayment by Self-Help Groups is 98 per cent and hence, were most bankable and eligible for lending.
He expressed concern over inadequate credit linkages to such groups in the states in the Northern and Eastern region of the country with southern states accounting for 62 per cent of total credit linkage of Rs 3,173 groups advanced during the last two years under DAY-NULM.
The Minister said that with several initiatives being taken to promote domestic and Foreign Direct Investment in various sectors, there is a vast scope for employment generation leading to increased demand for skilled manpower.
Naidu said that the Government is committed to eliminating poverty by "skilling the unskilled, funding the unfunded and reaching the unreached".
"25 per cent of people still living Below Poverty Line is clearly unacceptable when the country is aspiring for a lead role in the comity of nations. "Concerted efforts need to be mounted to eliminate poverty.
Due emphasis needs to be given on training to catch the fish instead of giving fish all the time. While banks should scale up financing, loans need to be repaid," he said.