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Sunday, Oct 23, 2005
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MANIPAL: When the United Progressive Alliance took office, there were 1.80 lakh self-help groups (SHGs) in the country. It was decided to create 1.85 lakh SHGs last year. However, 5.35 lakh SHGs were created. This year, another five lakh SHGs will be added, Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said on Saturday. He was addressing members of SHGs at the Syndicate Institute of Rural Entrepreneurship Development (SIRD), here.
He said the Governmnet is giving emphasis to the creation on SHGs.
Self-help groups empower women and make them economically independent, he said.
It is when women are economically independent that they can become confident, Mr. Chidambram said. The Prime Minister's Rozgar Yojana is aimed at creating self-employment opportunities for young men and women, he said.
Mr. Chidambaram said he will work to bring interest rates down.
Mr. Chidambaram said interest rates on loans have to come down and will come down.
Mr. Chidambaram said only when interest rates go down will the economy will grow stronger.
During the interaction with members of the SHGs, Mr. Chidambaram enquired about loans they have taken and what interest rates they are paying.
General Manager of Syndicate Bank, B. Pramod, welcomed the gathering and said that members from 15 SHGs from villages around Manipal are present. Chairman and Managing Director of Syndicate Bank Kantha Kumar and Executive Director Prakash P. Mallya, were present.
Mr. Chidambaram visited an exhibition of products organised by SIRD made by members of SHGs.
When a participant at the exhibition complained that there is delay in getting the subsidy, Mr. Kantha Kumar suggested that the Union Government release the subsides directly to the banks. To which Mr. Chidambaram said that the concurrence of State Governments essential for such a measure.
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