Brothers and sisters,
It’s my good luck that today I got the opportunity to speak tothe people who are actively involved with a scheme that is very dear to my heart, the enterprising youth and the sisters who came out leaving behind tradition. You are such people who built your path instead of following the traditional way and you built path with courage and will power. You contributed in a big way to the country’s prosperity and happiness.
Today, the whole country has joined me in listening to the story of your courage, of the decisions taken by you, of your initiativein this journey through this video conference. Only last month, I had the opportunity to spend some time with the beneficiaries of the Mudra scheme at the Prime Minister’s residence. Their experiences, their struggle and the stories of their progress gave satisfactionand also filled my heart with pride. I had decided that day itself that if I get a chance, I would talk to the Mudra beneficiaries, I would chitchat with them. And, today, both your time and my time are being saved because of technology. I can hear your experiences,realise your feelings directly and no intermediaryis required between us.
The contribution made by the entrepreneurs like you is very important for the country’s economy. You are aware that loan fairs were organised 25-30 years ago for political benefit. And the people who were politically affiliated, their minions, contractorsand those doing vote bank politics, all such people used to get money from banks. A lot of news items were also published that how much bank loan has been given. No one cared to ask what happened thereafter. We neither organised loan fairs nor did we provide space to any broker. The youth of the country, the mothers and sisters of the country those who wanted to do something on their own, those who wanted to talk to bank officials directly, for them we prepared a product – Mudra Yojana – which became a very big opportunity for those countrymen who wanted to do something. We trusted our small entrepreneurs, we trusted their business skills; we gave them loans under the Mudra Yojanaso that they can start their own business and expand it. Mudra Yojana not only created opportunities for self- employment but also has been acting as a job multiplier.
Since independence licence regime remained in place in our country. Those who knew someone only they were able to get loans; the work of only those people was done who had references. In some way or other, this system kept the poor people out of the system because they neither had a big name nor any approach. It was one of the big reasons because of which thousands of small entrepreneurs could neither start their business nor expand them as per their abilities. For financial assistance, they remained trapped under the grip of money lenders.
There was a time in this country when the Finance minister himself used to make phone calls for arranging loans for big industrialists. On the other hand a small entrepreneur used to be trapped in paying 30-40% interest to money lenders in such a way that he could not get out of it in his entire life. This vicious cycle was destined to be broken someday, it was to be broken by someone. We have made efforts in this direction and we have succeeded. We have been breaking apart this vicious cycle.
With trust and confidence; with the government’s faith in poor people, faith in their dreams and hard work of poor people…
Had the youth of the country got a scheme like Mudra Yojanadecades ago I am sure the problem of migration towards cities would not have been so acute. Young people would do business on their own staying back in their cities or villages if they were able to avail bank loans without guarantee, had they got the bank loans on low interest rates. Today, the poorest of the poor is getting bank loan without a collateral. Today, even a common man, without any special name or reference can become an entrepreneur with the help of Mudra loan. And, today, it is not necessary to have a friend or relative in the government. Today, there is no dearth of talent in the country. Everybody has some skill in one field or another, the need is to recognise that skill and to encourage him. Mudra Scheme has been providing strength to these skills of the people, particularly of the youth.
When skills are encouraged then they blossom further and a change is brought about in the life. Suppose, someone has a skill in making embroidery on cloths; he or she started a business of making embroidery on cloths by borrowing money under the Mudra Yojana. Gradually, he or she would start a business of designer clothes. Someone got the help in starting his handloom business. In a way, Mudra Yojana has done the job of polishing the skills of the common man. It has done the job of getting recognition of those skills and has done the job of empowering people. Under the Mudra Yojana, an amount of Rs. 5.75 lakh crore has been disbursed among 12 crore beneficiaries.
At times it happens that the government has funds for schemes but it cannot be fully utilised. But you will be surprised to know that Mudra is such a scheme where the loan amount has exceeded the target.
Under this scheme, 28 per cent, or nearly Rs. 3.25 lakh crore have been given to those people who have for the first time started their business. In a way, these are those people who became employed after a long spell of unemployment.
The most satisfactory thing in this scheme is that 74% beneficiaries of the scheme are women, it means about 9 crore beneficiariesare women. When a woman makes progress, when she becomes the centre of economic activity then the confidence of the entire family goes up and entire thinking changes and society becomes empowered. Similarly, 55 per cent of the total loan amount under the Mudra Yojana have been given to members of backward communities. It means out of total 12 crore beneficiaries 55 per cent of loan money have been given to the entrepreneurs of SC/ST and OBC communities. We have been hearing slogans for decades in the name of poverty, we have heard the talk about the upliftment of poor but Mudra Yojana is such a scheme which has been doing the work of giving financial and social power to the backward communities without any discrimination, it has been doing the work of empowering them.
Meanwhile, several institutions have joined the bandwagon. Today, not only 110 banks, but 72 Micro Financial Institutions and 9 Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) have also been giving Mudra Loans. Banks have simplified the process of granting Mudra loan. Paperwork has been made simple andcollecting documents is no longer a matter of tension. Today, it is a matter of pride to be self-employed and you people are a source of inspiration for that.