Taking the vision of financial inclusion a step further, the Narendra Modi government has been working to facilitate women of India to become entrepreneurs and chart the path of a New India.
Financial inclusion and empowerment of women has been a cornerstone of the Modi government. The multiple initiatives have been rolled out to undo the historical neglect of women in the financial mainstream.
Financial Inclusion of Women – Not Just an Initiative
Noticing that the women of India, especially in the poorer categories suffered from exclusion, Narendra Modi took it upon his government to ensure that this anomaly is rectified at the earliest. Thus, when in 2014the Jan Dhan Yojana was launched, special care was taken to expand and make affordable access to financial services in a way that women are at the centre. The efforts yielded enormous benefits, as more than 54% of 38.73 Crore Jan Dhan Yojana beneficiaries are Women. Further, the Jan Dhan accounts were provided with the special benefit of overdraft facility of ₹5,000 for accounts belonging to Self Help Groups (SHGs).
Empowering Women SHGs
Knowing the importance of SHGs and microfinance in fighting extreme poverty the government has recently put forth the Village storage scheme under the Union Budget 2020. Through this scheme, women SHGs are to be provided backward linkage storage capacity, utilizing their local adaptive capacities. Further, as a woman in every SHG gets a loan of ₹1 lakh under theMUDRA scheme, a chance at providing access to small finance has been provided on cheaper financing. Also, the extension of women SHG interest subvention programme to all districts has been a reason for much cheer, as it further reduces the cost of borrowing; the faith that the poor women of India have in this government has been upheld by the Modi government.
Maximum MUDRA Loans sanctioned for Female Entrepreneurs
MUDRA scheme paid special attention to women beneficiaries and also utilized the experience with self-help groups (SHGs). Thus, seventy per cent of all loans were sanctioned to women beneficiaries for multiple purposes – starting ventures, expanding their small businesses and also supporting SHGs. As on 31.01.2020, more than 22.53 crore loans have been sanctioned since launch of the scheme. Out of this, more than 15.75 crore loans extended to women, thereby 70% of the total loan borrowers are Women. Women too have ensured that the faith of the Modi government does not go unheeded, as failure rates have been in the low single digits.
Standup Women, Standup India
Startups have been yet another sector where women have carved out their space through sheer determination and willpower. Saluting this very spirit of resilience, the Modi government has gone out of the way to encourage women to set up their own ventures and grow them. Under Stand Up India, women entrepreneurs can secure loans between ₹10 Lakh and ₹1 Crore per bank branch of scheduled commercial banks. This helps them tide over critical fund shortages they often face, and prevents their early exit from the startup race. Till 30 th April 2020, over Rs 17,000 Crore has been sanctioned to 76,451 female entrepreneurs, and the sky is just the beginning of the limitless possibilities that women can visualize for themselves.
Massive Growth of Women led MSMEs
Women are breaching traditional barriers in today’s India. This has been well supported and facilitated by the government policies and initiatives. The various Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) are ensuring that at least 3% of all procurement is sourced from women led Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). This has been achieved through the successful registration of over 8,000 women entrepreneurs who are operating from GeM platform successfully. This has been enabled by the ‘Womaniya’ and ‘SWAYATT’ features in GeM to enable women entrepreneurs and women led SHGs to showcase and sell their products on GeM. The government has also created other digital avenues to support women entrepreneurs and support groups, like the online e- marketing platform Mahila e-Haat, which supportsover 32,000 women entrepreneurs/SHGs/ NGOs offering more than 7,000 products and services.
India’s women are ready to lead the world in their respective field, if given opportunity. With the various initiatives, the women of New India can truly feel emboldened to claim her rightful place under the sun.