Credit and Finance for MSMEs: Dedicated credit scheme for SC/ST and women entrepreneurs – Standup India, which facilitates bank credit between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore, has sanctioned 1,16,266 loan applications amounting to Rs 26204.49 crore since inception, according to the data from Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance. The number of applications sanctioned has grown 27.3 per cent from 91,319 sanctioned as of March 10, 2020, up from 55,342 applications as of March 7, 2018. The latest data from the finance ministry was shared by MoS for Social Justice and Empowerment Pratima Bhoumik in Lok Sabha today recently. Launched on April 5, 2016, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the scheme was later extended up to 2025 to provide credit to at least one Scheduled Caste (SC) or Scheduled Tribe (ST) borrower and one woman borrower per bank branch for setting up a green field enterprise in manufacturing, services or trading sector.
Importantly, the margin money requirement for Standup India loans was reduced from up to 25 per cent to up to 15 per cent following the announcement in the Budget speech this year by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Moreover, activities allied to agriculture were also included in the scheme. Also, “the government has taken various steps towards effective implementation of the scheme, these, inter alia, include provision for submission for online applications by potential borrowers through www.standupmitra.in portal, hand-holding support, intensive publicity campaign, simplified loan application form, Credit Guarantee Scheme, convergence with State and Central government Schemes wherever feasible, reduction in margin money and inclusion of activities allied to agriculture etc.,” the Bhoumik said in a statement by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
Overall, the scheme has received 1.35 lakh applications with a total amount of Rs 32,061 crore, as of Wednesday, as per the data from the Standupmitra portal. The scheme has onboarded 24,699 handholding agencies and 348 lenders connecting over 1.51 lakh bank branches. With respect to the repayment tenure under the scheme, the repayment period of the composite loan is to be fixed depending on the nature of the activity and useful life of assets purchased with bank loan but not to exceed seven years with a maximum moratorium period of 18 months, according to the scheme.