Chhattisgarh government waives outstanding loan of women self-help groups

By PTI

RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Monday announced waiving off the overdue or unpaid loans worth Rs 12.77 crore of the women Self-Help Groups (SHGs) so that they can avail fresh loans to start new economic activities.

The CM made this announcement at his residence on the occasion of the Teeja-Pora festival, a public relations department official said.

Notably, senior Congress leader and state minister TS Singhdeo, who is locked in a tussle with Baghel over the issue of rotational chief ministership, also shared the stage with Baghel at the latter’s residence here.

Both the leaders had recently met former Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Delhi. “The chief minister has announced that the overdue/unpaid loans of Rs 12.77 crore of all the women self-help groups (SHGs) will be waived so that they could take loans again to start new economic activities,” the official said.

Baghel has also decided to hike the budgetary sanction for loans provided to women groups by five times to Rs 10 crore from the present Rs 2 crore every year. The loan limit of SHGs is also raised from Rs one lakh to Rs two lakh, the official said.

He said that ensuring justice to women in Chhattisgarh was one of the promises mentioned in the poll manifesto.

Speaking on the occasion of the Teeja-Pora festival held at the CM’s house, Rajya Sabha MP Phulo Devi Netam said ever since the new government took charge in the state under the leadership of CM Baghel, there has been an “unprecedented increase in the economic activities of women self-groups, which has paved the way for economic self-reliance for women”.

Around one lakh women SHGs have become ineligible to avail new loans now. Netam requested the chief minister to waive the outstanding debt of women SHGs so that they can become eligible for availing of a new loan to start economic activities.

Netam also requested that the annual budget sanction for providing loans to the SHGs be doubled so that more women can avail such an opportunity to become self-dependent.

In response to her request, the CM announced to waive the loans as a “gift to women SHGs”, the official added.