Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced to double collateral-free loans to Rs 20 lakh for Self Help women groups that would benefit 7 crore households. With this announcement, 63 lakh women self-help groups can avail of collateral-free loans for its operations. Sitharaman said doubling the amount would increase money in the hand of SHGs that will help them to cover the loss caused during to coronavirus lockdown.
The announcement by the finance minister comes as the coronavirus relief measures amid nationwide lockdown. Nirmala Sitharaman announced 'coronavirus economic relief package' of Rs 1.7 lakh crore.
Besides doubling the collateral-free loan, Sitharaman's announcement also included -- 20 crore Jan Dhan Women account holders covered- Ex gratia amount of Rs 500 per month for the next three months. Ujjawala scheme near 8.3 crore BPL families covered in this, so that no running short of cooking medium, for 3 months free cylinders.
Self Help women groups (7 crore houses holds covered), collateral-free loans doubled to 20 Lakh, to increase money in hand, announces Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman pic.twitter.com/vHgcO166OQ— ANI (@ANI) March 26, 2020
Sitharaman's address comes on the second day of the nationwide lockdown called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday. PM urged people to consider this 21-day-long lockdown as 'Curfew' and stay home while maintaining social distancing.