Mahila Samriddhi Yojana is a program started by the Indian government to help women who belong to the Scheduled Caste group by offering them small loans. These loans are provided at lower interest rates to support women, especially those who want to start their own businesses.
This help can be given directly to the women or through community groups known as Self-Help Groups (SHGs). This scheme aims to improve the financial stability and independence of women from underprivileged backgrounds, allowing them to contribute to their families and communities.
Mahila Samriddhi Yojana Benefits
Women can receive financial support in the form of micro-loans for their entrepreneurial attempts. The scheme supports a unit cost of up to ₹1,40,000, with the quantum of assistance covering up to 90% of the project cost. This implies that a significant portion of the financial requirement for a project can be met through this scheme, minimizing the financial burden on women entrepreneurs.
The interest rates under this scheme are lowered to reduce the financial burden. The interest rate for the government on State Channelizing Agencies (SCAs) is 1% per annum, and the rate from SCAs to the beneficiaries is 4% per annum. This set-up makes sure that the loans are affordable for the women, making it easier for them to repay the loan amount.
Who is Eligible to get a loan under the Mahila Samriddhi Yojana?
Under this scheme, a woman needs to belong to the Scheduled Caste category This group is recognised by the government as being socially and economically disadvantaged. However, the annual income of the household should not be more than ₹3 lahks. The scheme is specially designed for women who are interested in starting or growing their own businesses.
So, if a woman belongs to the Scheduled Caste category and has entrepreneurial aspirations, she can apply for this scheme. Also, if a woman is part of a self-help group, she may also be eligible for financial assistance under this scheme.
The repayment period for loans under Mahila Samriddhi Yojana is between 3 and ½ years, with repayments scheduled in quarterly installments beginning from the date each distribution is made. This repayment schedule also includes a three-month moratorium period.
A moratorium period is a specified period during which the borrower is not required to make any repayments. This period is usually given to give beneficiaries a chance to begin their income-generating businesses before they start repaying the loan.
How to Apply for Mahila Samriddhi Yojana?
- Eligible individuals should submit their loan requests to the local offices of State Channelizing Agencies (SCAs). A list of these agencies can be found on the NSFDC website.
- These local offices, after reviewing the applications, send them to their Head offices.
- The SCAs evaluate the possibility of the submitted business projects and send good proposals to NSFDC with their approval.
- Eligible individuals can also submit their loan requests to other affiliated agencies of NSFDC like Regional Rural Banks, Public Sector Banks, or NBFC-MFIs, with which NSFDC has formal agreements.
- The proposals undergo a detailed review by a specialized team, and a report of this review is sent to a committee known as the Project Clearance Committee (PCC) for their agreement.
- Proposals that meet the criteria are suggested for approval. After approval, official letters known as Letters of Intent (LOIs), together with the terms and conditions, are sent to the SCAs, Regional Rural Banks, Public Sector Banks, or NBFC-MFIs for agreement.
- Once the terms and conditions are agreed upon and other necessary criteria are met, the funds are released to the respective agencies for further distribution to the eligible individuals.
- NSFDC releases the funds based on requests from these agencies. The recipients of the loans are then required to pay back as per the schedule set by the SCAs or other concerned agencies.
- Aadhaar Card
- Income certificate
- Caste certificate
- Bank account statement