Postal department to expand micro-finance for women groups

Postal department to expand micro-finance for women groups

New Delhi: After recording zero default in recovery of micro-credit given to women self-help groups (SHGs) in Tamil Nadu on pilot basis, the Department of Posts (DoP) is expanding its activities elsewhere.

DoP entered the estimated Rs15,000 crore organised micro-finance sector in November last year in five districts of Tamil Nadu providing credit to rural population through SHGs.

“We selected women SHGs for the project and they have given us 100% recovery level," DoP Deputy General Manager T. Nirmala Devi said.

She said encouraged by its experience in Tamil Nadu, DoP is launching a similar project in Meghalaya by the end of this month in collaboration with NABARD which bears the credit risk.

While an MoU has already been signed with NABARD, projects for farmers of the suicide-prone Vidarbha region of Maharashtra and Kutch in Gujarat are in the pipeline.

Nirmala Devi said in Tamil Nadu, while 2,056 SHGs were registered with DoP, the projected was implemented through only 88 of them.

The groups eligible for the micro-credit should have only married women as members as “we want to maintain cohesiveness and homogeneity", she said.

Under the project, DoP has so far disbursed a credit of Rs21 lakh.

The DoP lends a maximum credit of Rs24,000 to one SHG at 9% interest under the scheme.