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UPA’s Rs 75,000-crore self-employment plan for 7 crore rural homes

The programme, which intends to impart training to rural households for semi-skilled and skilled jobs, may help UPA garner extra votes.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Nov 29, 2013, 10.19 AM IST
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UPA government has drawn up a Rs 75,000-crore action plan that seeks to provide self-employment opportunities to seven crore households in rural India.
UPA government has drawn up a Rs 75,000-crore action plan that seeks to provide self-employment opportunities to seven crore households in rural India.
NEW DELHI: The United Progressive Alliance government has drawn up a Rs 75,000-crore action plan that seeks to provide self-employment opportunities to seven crore households in rural India over the next 10 years. The programme, which intends to impart training to rural households for semi-skilled and skilled jobs, may help UPA garner some extra votes in the general elections due next year.

“The model has already been tested in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala on a pilot basis,” a senior official at the rural development ministry told ET. “It can now be scaled up and launched nationally.” Under the programme, the ministry would spend Rs 15 crore per block in each village, comprising 10-12 rural households, over the next 10 years.

Funds would be given to self-help groups (SHGs) to impart training to the rural poor to take up skilled and semi-skilled jobs. The idea is to scale up their skills so that they become eligible for concessional credit from financial institutions. “Once self employed, they would be in a position to avail higher credit from financial institutions as they would have the repayment capacity,” the official said.

In Andhra and Kerala, where the scheme was tested on pilot basis, recovery rate has been as high as 99%, encouraging banks to come forward. The trend has encouraged the government to conceive the programme at the national level.

Some state governments have also come forward and are willing to finance self-help groups to impart skills. “We intend to create at least 60 lakh self-help groups that will help people become self employed across rural India,” the official quoted earlier said, adding that in the next phase, the model will be replicated in Bihar and Chhattisgarh.

The women trained under this programme are being designated as community resource persons. They will join hands to form the National Resource Organisation, which will go to different states to sign memorandum of understanding for creating self-help groups there.

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