Government hopes to reach poorest families with VISVAS, an interest subvention scheme

For the first year, the Centre has identified 3.28 lakh beneficiaries, including 1.98 lakh SCs and 1.27 lakh OBCs, for its interest subvention scheme

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New Delhi: In a major outreach to Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs), the Centre is set to introduce an interest subvention scheme for the poorest of the poor households.

The ministry of social justice and empowerment will introduce VISVAS or Vanchit Ikai Samooh aur Vargon ki Aarthik Sahayta scheme for selfhelp groups or SC and OBC households with an annual income of up to ₹3 lakh. The scheme aims to ensure more credit in the hands of the most-deprived households for productive and economic activities.

19 sep

With subvention of interest, banks too would be encouraged to lend to the disadvantaged sections. The Centre has already identified 3,28,500 beneficiaries for the first year. These include 1.98 lakh SC and 1.27 lakh OBC beneficiaries.

Under the scheme, SC and OBC Self Help Groups (SHGs) and Individuals would be able to avail an interest subvention of 5% per annum on bank loans of up to ₹4 lakh per SHG and ₹2 lakh per individual.

With this scheme, the government hopes to reduce interest burden on the underprivileged sections. The Centre is expected to infuse Rs 65 crore under the scheme which should enable provision of a 5% interest subvention to small loans extended to marginalised SCs and OBCs worth ₹1,075 crore.

The interest subvention scheme comes ahead of Assembly elections in Bihar – a state where OBCs comprise 50% of the population and SCs 15%.

The scheme would help in immediate liquidity as it would entail direct beneficiary transfer mode of crediting the operational accounts of individuals and SHGs. Though approved for the first year 2020-21, it is expected that its continuation would benefit close to 22 lakh poor SC and OBC beneficiaries by enabling interest subvention on loans worth an anticipated ₹6,700 crore up to 2024-25.

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