Rural development minister Giriraj Singh on Thursday said the target to have 10 crore Self Help Group members by 2024 will be achieved as the ministry is working on "pro-active mode" to enrol more women 'Sakhis'.
The minister was addressing the media after the signing of an agreement between the ministry and Meesho an e-commerce platform owned by Bengaluru-based Fashnear Technologies Private Limited
As per the agreement, the e-commerce platform will help in marketing of products made by the Self Help Groups under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana - National Rural Livelihood Mission.
Singh said, in May 2014, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge, there were 2.35 crore SHG members, but with a focused approach to empower rural poor women in the last 9 years, the number of SHG members has swelled to more than 9 crore and will touch 10 crore by 2024.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Singh as well as secretary, Rural Development, Shailesh Kumar Singh, Additional Secretary Charanjit Singh and Meesho co-founder and chief technology officer Sanjeev Barnwal.
The minister informed that the cumulative loan to SHGs was about Rs 80,000 crore before 2014 and now the bank linkage has crossed over 6.25 lakh crore in the last 9 years, with an NPA of just 2.08 per cent. He said, efforts are on to bring the NPA to less than one per cent.
Singh said, each woman beneficiary must save at least Rs 1 lakh per annum through sale of local products, which is the vision of the prime minister.
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He also expressed confidence that within few years he will be able to achieve the target of 10 lakh 'lakhpati didis' and added that the day is not far away when "some of the lakhpati didis will become crorepati didis".
The minister said that the rural development ministry has been undertaking several efforts in supporting businesses run by rural SHG women engaged in producing food products, handicrafts and hand-loom etc.
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