Amaravati, April 24 : Amid the turmoil and uncertainty cast by COVID-19, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday launched a zero per cent interest for womens' self-help groups in the state. The poll promise scheme will cost the cash-strapped state Rs 1,400 crore per year.
Launching the YSR zero interest loan scheme for 'Development of Women and Childen in Rural Areas (DWCRA) Self Help Groups (SHG), Reddy said that despite the economic hardships brought about by the pandemic, the state government has decided to launch the scheme which will benefit over 91 lakh women in Andhra Pradesh.
Under the YSR 'zero interest scheme', the state government will credit around Rs 1,400 crore to the bank accounts of about 8.78 lakh self help groups, benefiting over 91 lakh women. By this scheme, each SHG will receive an amount of Rs 20,000 to Rs 40,000 without interest. Of the 8.78 lakh SHGs, 6.95 groups are in rural areas while the rest are in urban areas.
Interacting through video conference with beneficiaries, the Chief Minister said: "Despite financial crisis, our government is committed for the welfare of women. As announced earlier, the registration for the houses will also be done in the name of women, which we are planning to launch on July 8." A government release stated that the Finance department special secretary has issued a government order allocating Rs 765.19 crore to implement the zero-interest loan scheme for SHGs.
Jagan Reddy recalled that his father and former Chief Minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh, Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy had introduced the precursor to the scheme, in the form of 25 paise interest credit scheme for women SHGs. The scheme was discontinued in 2016 by the previous TDP government.
In 2019, Jagan reddy had stormed to power in Andhra Pradesh on the back of several populist schemes that he had promised during the run-up to polls. The zero interest loan scheme was one of them.