With an objective to promote financial inclusion, Nabard today started a pilot project for complete digitisation of women self help groups (SHGs) to improve the quality of interface between members and banks for efficient and hassle free delivery of banking services.
The programme was launched by Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha at Ramgarh in Jharkhand.
Appreciating the initiative of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard), Sinha emphasised the need for higher coverage of women under Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana and hoped this will set the architecture for wider participation of women.
Nabard has taken this proactive step to address issues and constraints faced by different stakeholders of the SHG bank linkage programme (SHG-BLP), such as need for improving the quality of interface between SHG members and banks, timely credit linkage of SHGs, challenges in book keeping by low literate clients and convergence with pro poor government programmes, Nabard chairman Harsh Kumar Bhanwala said.
“The project will benefit various stakeholders. It will facilitate mainstreaming of SHG members with Aadhar based financial inclusion and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) enabling access to wide range of financial services,” he said.
Digitisation will bring transparency, credibility to operations of SHGs through inbuilt grading MIS and thereby increasing the comfort of bankers in credit appraisal, disbursement and monitoring, he added.
Besides, Bhanwala said, the process will ease transfer of social benefits and Direct Benefit Transfer, leading to better participation of SHG members in PMJDY. The ultimate beneficiary would be rural poor members of SHGs through easy E book keeping of their records.
There are over 74 lakh SHGs in the country having bank accounts, out of which around 42 lakhs are credit-linked which will benefit from digitisation as and when the project is expanded across India.
He further said that under digitisation, base data of SHGs and their members will be captured in the system with periodicals updates of financial transactions including small savings, internal loaning and their repayment.
The data of SHGs and their members will be fed into the input device (tablet/mobile handset) which will be uploaded in the secured and dedicated website-www.Eshakti.Nabard.Org .
Sinha asked Nabard to also launch a pilot project on credit intensification in select backward districts.
Underlining the importance of capital formation in agriculture and rural areas he expressed confidence that Nabard will make best use of Long Term Rural Credit Fund of Rs 15000 crore provided in Union Budget 2015-16.