On her maiden visit to Tamil Nadu after assuming office, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman urged the state government to implement the Centre’s Mudra Yojana scheme in the districts.
“Without producing any collateral, including gold ornaments, one can get a loan under the scheme. We say from Delhi that there is a Mudra scheme. But every state has a specific industry. Like the crackers business in Sivakasi. My request is that it (the scheme) should go to the deserving people,” she said.
The minister was addressing a gathering after inaugurating the Mudra loan campaign here.
“An awareness campaign should be held in every district. I request the Tamil Nadu government to give priority to those districts which have a specialised industry. Like in Pathamadai near Tirunelveli, they make mats. It is a specific industry. Do they get the benefits of the Mudra scheme?” she asked.
Similarly, the fishermen community should also be brought within the ambit of the scheme, Sitharaman said. “I request the minister (Municipal Administration and Rural Development Minister S P Velumani) here to take steps to implement the Mudra scheme for the benefit of the lower middle-class people”, she added.
The Union minister urged the banks to check if the list of beneficiaries covered under the scheme, provided by the banking correspondents, matched with the list they had. “If there is a mismatch, ask questions. It is your responsibility to ask questions of the banking correspondents. Only then can we get justice”, she said.
The central government had launched the Mudra loan scheme to promote entrepreneurship at the bottom level. The disbursement amount under the scheme ranges from Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 lakh without any collateral.
Sitharaman also suggested that the K Palaniswami-led AIADMK government in the state implement an insurance scheme, akin to the one in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh for low-income individuals, where they need not pay the premium cover. Under the scheme in Andhra, Rs 171 of the total annual insurance premium of Rs 342 is borne by the state government and the balance by the Centre.
“I also request Tamil Nadu to come forward and take steps so that we (central and state governments) can together implement the insurance scheme for the benefit of the people,” the Defence minister said.