SGSY is being implemented since April 1999 as a major anti-poverty scheme for the rural poor
To bring the poor families above the Poverty Line by ensuring appreciable sustained level of income over a period of time.
This is to be achieved by organizing the rural poor into Self Help Groups (SHGs) through the process of social mobilization, their training and capacity building and provision of income generating assets through a mix of bank credit and government subsidy.
This programme covers families below poverty line in rural areas of the country. Within this target group, special safeguards have been provided by reserving 50% of benefits for SCs/STs, 40% for women and 3% for physically handicapped persons.
SGSY is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme and funding is shared by the Central and State Governments in the ratio of 75:25 respectively.
How Scheme works
- The scheme falls under the purview of the Ministry of Rural Development and is implemented by District Rural Development Agencies (DRDA) with the active involvement of panchayats, banks and non-governmental organisations.
- Panchayats select BPL families for participation in the scheme using the 1999-2000 estimates prepared by the Planning Commission of India and form Self Help Groups (SHGs) .
- The SHGs may consist of 10-20 members and in case of minor irrigation, disabled persons and difficult areas, i.e., hilly, desert and sparsely populated areas; this number may be a minimum of five.
- Identification of individual families suitable for each key activity will be made through a participatory process. Closer attention will be paid on skill development of the beneficiaries, known as swarozgaris, and their technology and marketing needs.
- Selection could be made up to 10 key activities per block based on local resources, occupational skills of the people and availability of market so that the Swarozgaris can draw suitable incomes from their investment.
- Once formed, groups are trained and observed by DRDAs along with banks for six months to develop and strengthen savings and credit activities.
- They are encouraged to open bank accounts and also to lend from the group’s corpus to members within the group.
At the end of this period, DRDAs assess if groups are ready to avail credit (Grade I). Viable groups are given ‘revolving funds’ of 25,000 per group from banks as credit to augment the group corpus, thereby enabling more members to take loans and also increase the per capita loan amount.
- After another six months, groups are evaluated again to determine if they are viable to undertake economic activities with larger investments (Grade II). Viable groups and individuals are eligible for loan-cum-subsidy assistance for group and individual activities, respectively.
- However, groups stand guarantee for loans even for individual beneficiaries, since groups can monitor asset management and income generation more closely than banks. SGSY envisages a critical role
How to Seek Assistance:
District Rural Development Agencies and Block Development Officers may be contacted for assistance under this programme
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