Credit organisation for SHGs soon: Pranab

Kolkata:  A credit organisation and financial institution for giving credit and subsidy to self-help groups will be launched soon, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said today.

"I have talked to Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh in this regard and the it will be launched soon," Mukherjee said here at the pan-India launch of `Project Sukanya`, a West Bengal-based self-help group (SHG).

"I have said in my Budget speech that for giving credit and subsidy to SHGs, a credit organisation and financial institution will be formed," he said.

"A corpus of Rs 500 crore has been kept for this purpose," Mukherjee said.

The Finance Minister, however, stressed that dependence only on the government would not be enough. "The government can do many things, but not everything."

He said that in spite of the government`s efforts, if places were left out, NGOs and SHGs should work in those areas.

Stating that there was need to strengthen women`s entrepreneurship at the grassroot level to bring about socio-economic change, Mukherjee said "when we talk about bridging the gap between the haves and have-nots, empowerment of women is vital to ensure this".

Enumerating various central schemes for women and children, he said that in one of these, the Swarnajayanti Gramin Rojgar Yojna, 60 per cent beneficiaries were women.

"Present-day development experts say that traditional pyramidical model of development will not be effective in bringing all-round development," the minister said.

He, however, asserted that the government would have to play a more proactive role, especially in making women self reliant with emphasis on improving their health, nutrition and education.