West Bengal boasts of having the lowest NPA in the self-help groups (SHGs) portfolio in the country where eight lakh such units are operating, a senior state government official has claimed on Saturday.
Speaking at the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) event, secretary of the Panchayat and Rural Development department Choten Lama said "West Bengal has the lowest NPA in the country in the SHG portfolio, which is less than 2 per cent. The state has over eight lakh SHGs".
The official said that through West Bengal State Rural Livelihoods Mission, the state is promoting many poverty eradication initiatives in the rural areas, through women empowerment schemes, and the SHGs form the basic unit for this economic mobilization.
The schemes primarily aim at community managed sustainable agricultural initiatives, with active participation of the local panchayats, Lama said, adding the government has also allocated a Vulnerability Fund of Rs one lakh each for all for all the panchayats to assist economically marginalized and vulnerable people with sustainable livelihood opportunities.
The official said the Swasthya Sathi (a health insurance) scheme is also being extended to the SHGs, with parents from both the spouses being included for coverage.
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