EQUALITY INDIA NEWS / A SHAKTI VAHINI RESEARCH INITIATIVE
The Consultative Committee meeting of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment held under the Chairmanship of Shri Mukul Wasnik, Minister of Social Justice & Empowerment here today. The agenda of the Consultative Committee meeting was to review and discuss the activities of National Safai Karamcharis Finance & Development Corporation (NSKFDC).
The Minister informed the members that NSKFDC is mandated to work for rehabilitation of Safai Karamcharis, Scavengers and their dependents by providing loan at concessional rates of interest for setting up self employment units and financing Skill Development Training Programmes for upgrading their skills.
Shri Wasnik said that the authorized and paid up capital of NSKFDC as on date is Rs.300.00 crore and Rs.299.99 crore respectively. It is implementing its schemes and programmes through State Channelizing Agencies (SCAs) in 27 States/UTs. It has released the financial assistance of Rs.653.89 crores covering 2.26 lakh beneficiaries as on 31.05.2011, which is more than twice of the paid up capital of the Corporation, he informed.
The Minister said that the Corporation has been able to provide financial assistance to 1.18 lakh women beneficiaries who constitute 52% of the total beneficiaries. Apart from this, the Corporation is also providing the opportunities to its target group for their participation in various Exhibitions, Trade Fairs & Melas for marketing exposure and displaying their quality products and also organizing Awareness Camps. He further said that, however, the coverage is still far from adequate, given the size of target group which is estimated to be around 50 lakh.
NSKFDC amends its Lending Policy and Guidelines by simplifying the procedure from time to time keeping in view the problems of SCAs and beneficiaries so that the target group avails financial assistance in large numbers. In one such attempt, it has reduced the rate of interest from 4% to 3.5% per annum for women under Education Loan Scheme with effect from 16.6.2011, the Minister informed the members.
Shri Wasnik informed the members that the Government of India in January 2007 had introduced “Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS)” for eradication of Manual Scavenging from the country. The scheme was announced as “NATIONAL PRIORITY” by the Government. NSKFDC was nominated as the Coordinating Agency for implementing the scheme. Under the scheme, 78,941 eligible and willing persons were provided with financial assistance for self employment ventures and 43,909 persons were provided with Skill Development Training across 16 States/2 UTs. These States/UTs have confirmed that all eligible and willing manual scavengers and their dependents have been provided due assistance under the Scheme. He said that the Government would do new survey to know the exact number of persons involved in manual scavenging.
Praising the NSKFDC, the Minister said that NSKFDC has made sustained efforts in achieving the annual targets under Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) fixed by the Task Force of experts set up by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) and signed by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and NSKFDC. Based on its performance, the DPE has rated the Corporation as “Excellent / Very Good”, continuously for the last five years. Recently, it has been awarded with the Gold Trophy of ‘SCOPE Meritorious Award for best managed PSE’ for the year 2009-10 which was presented by the President of India on 11.04.2011, the Minister informed the members.
The Minister said that he look forward to deeper and broader engagement of the Corporation in socio-economic up-liftment of the target group which is poorest of the poor. He hoped that it would continue to assist its target group more effectively and achieve its objectives. He was sure that the guidance and suggestions of the Hon’ble Members will be of immense help to the Corporation in effectively implementing its schemes and programmes and reach each and every person of the target group.
Shri Shakti Mohan Malik, Shri Thangso Baite, Smt Usha Verma, Members from Lok Sabha and Shri Pramod Kureel member from Rajya Sabha attended the Consultative Committee meeting.
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