GUWAHATI, July 2 � A Rural Development Corporation and a Women Development Corporation will be constituted in the State soon, an official press release received here stated.
This was announced by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi at the State-level Credit Camp for SHGs organised by the Assam State Rural Livelihoods Mission (ASRLM) at the Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra auditorium at Panjabari here today.
Addressing the women SHGs coming from different parts of the State, Gogoi said that since day one, the Government has all along been according priority to development of villages in which 80 per cent of the State�s populace lives. �Our Government has been village-oriented since day one, as 80 per cent of the populace lives in rural areas. Without the development of villages, the State cannot forge ahead,� he said.
Gogoi said womenfolk have to march as equal partners with men in the development process of the State. �It augurs well for the State that lakhs and lakhs of women SHGs are coming out of the confines of their homes and supplementing the income of their families by availing loans from banks. Thanks to the women SHGs, a silent revolution is brewing in the rural areas of the State,� he said.
The Chief Minister said that the Government has extended loan facilities to women SHGs so that they can become more economically independent and can contribute to the income of their families as well as economic development of the State. Gogoi, while emphasising timely loan repayment, appreciated that women SHGs are managing their finances well and making timely loan repayment, too.
Gogoi said that the State Government is mulling forming of a big company for SHGs that would give the products a brand name. �Our Government is contemplating forming a big company by organising the SHGs in an organised way in the lines of AMUL,� he said.
The Chief Minister said that the Government would create job opportunities for one lakh youth through employment generation mission to ease the unemployment problem this year.
The Chief Minister appreciated the role of Assam Gramin Vikash Bank (AGVB) for the uplift of the rural poor by extending loans to SHGs under NRLM.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Panchayat & Rural Development, Rakibul Hussain said a silent revolution is on in the rural areas of the State with the coming up of over 3 lakh SHGs. Hussain said that with revolving fund of Rs 1 lakh as loan and Rs 1 lakh as subsidy, the SHGs have helped transform the lives of tens of thousands. Even cluster SHGs in the village are getting Rs 25 lakh loan subsidy, he added.
Hussain said that 45,000 families would be benefited through loan credit disbursement across 300 Assam Gramin Vikash Bank branches.
The chairman of AGVB, SS Singh, in his address said the bank covers most parts of the State except two districts and it has been playing a key role in alleviation of poverty by providing credit linkage to the SHGs in the State.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the mission director of ASRLM, Nitin Khade, said the State-level credit camp, the first of its kind, would extend loan facility to 3,459 SHGs amounting to Rs 20.42 crore. Khade said that loan recovery under NRLM has been a whopping 95 per cent.
The Chief Minister gave away loan sanction letters to several women SHGs at the function. The meeting was attended, among others, by Press Adviser to CM, Bharat Chandra Narah, and Secretary, Panchayat & Rural Development, Ahmad Hussain.