March 17, 2015
Self Help Groups brought under Social Security in Bengal
The West Bengal Chief Minister, Ms Mamata Banerjee took an innovative measure to help the ordinary people of the State. While her decision to reach out to the unorganised and transport workers, street hawkers have been well appreciated, now, the State Government has decided to include the ‘Self Help Groups’ across the State Social Security Scheme.
West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee expressed that a lot of young boys and girls work in these organisations and the State must reach out to them for their welfare.
Earlier, the Self Help Groups of the State, which mainly comprised of women, did not get the benefits of the ongoing Social Security Schemes.
An exchequer worth Rs 100 Crore is being created by the Government to give loan to these groups who have difficulties in getting loans from recognised banks. The loans given out by these banks normally come with a high rate of interest of 400%, whereas the State Government will give loans at 200% interest with the rest as subsidy.
After a meeting with various departments of the Government like Panchayat & Rural Development, MSME and other various Government officials, this scheme has been drawn up. Along with easy loans, the Government is also creating a fund worth Rs 60 Crore wherein people working in these organisations will get monetary help in case they meet with accidents while at work or become ill. Rs 1 Lakh will be given in case of accidental deaths or handicapped while at work and Rs 40000 if the person falls ill.
On reaching the age of 60, they will get an ex gratia amount between Rs 1-2 Lakh. For this the individual workers would be required to pay Rs 30 only per year. The Accounts Department of the State Government has been instructed to draw a plan so that from May 2015 onwards enrollment for this Scheme can be started. Over 50 Lakh Self Help Groups in the State will benefit from this Scheme.