The government’s ambitious Standup India scheme to promote entrepreneurship amongst Dalits, tribals and women appears short of target in Maharashtra, especially in its backward districts.
Across 36 districts in Maharashtra, against a target of 23,222 candidates, only 3,717 received loans under the scheme as of March 2019. And, against Rs 1,225.24 crore sanctioned under the scheme, the loan disbursed was Rs 629.73 crore. That means, the target achieved in terms of borrowers is only 16 per cent. And amount disbursed comes to 51 per cent.
According to the State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) report, “In Hingoli district, against a target of 160 eligible candidates shortlisted for loans for setting up businesses, only two received an amount of Rs 60 lakh.”
In tribal Nandurbar district, against a target of 154 eligible candidates, only four received loans of Rs 68 lakh. In Parbhani, against 256 candidates, just five received loans of Rs 73 lakh. In Gadchiroli, only eight benefited against a target of 132. The loan amount disbursed was Rs 128 lakh. In Beed, the target was 350 candidates. But only 17 received loans of Rs 2.38 crore. Data for Latur shows 39 candidates bagging loans of Rs 5.33 crore. The number of applicants was 378.
The Standup India scheme provides loans between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore to people from the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities and women to set up greenfield enterprises. It is mandatory for every bank branch to extend loans under the scheme to at least one eligible SC/ST and woman borrower.
Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry chairman Milind Kamble said, “The gap between the target and its realisation is a failure of the system. Financial institutions have to be proactive in enforcing the scheme.”
“In the absence of quick execution and scrutiny which require adequate manpower to mechanism, there are lacunae. In the backward districts of Maharashtra, easy access to banks and greater hand-holding is necessary to make this scheme successful,” he said.
However, Kamble, who was part of the think tank which drew up the scheme, said, “Maharashtra has taken the lead when it comes to ensuring 51 per cent disbursement and holds huge potential to expand its ambit to cover more beneficiaries.”
Across India, the number of beneficiaries as of March 2019 are 72,983 and total amount disbursed was Rs 16,085.07 crore.
Interestingly, Mumbai City leads with the highest borrowers at 868; amount disbursed was Rs 182.82 crore. Mumbai Suburbs follows at 116 borrowers receiving Rs 192.20 crore.
The target for Mumbai City was 1,850 and for the suburbs 2,286. Pune City saw 611 beneficiaries receiving loans of Rs 101.27 crore. The target was 2,792. Nashik is no better with 116 receiving loans of Rs 186.90 crore. The number of applicants was 1,078.