Rajen Gohain inaugurates the campaign in Guwahati on Monday. Picture by UB Photos
Guwahati, Oct. 2: Union minister of state for railways Rajen Gohain today said banks are not giving ample opportunities to unemployed youths of the Northeast, urging the former to utilise the Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (Mudra) loan scheme more.
Gohain said this at the Mudra Promotion Campaign (Mudra Protsahan Abhiyaan), which started phase-wise from September 27 all across the country and will end on October 17. The State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC), SBI, held the "Financial Inclusion Camp and Mudra Promotion Campaign" for Assam here today.
Gohain said the Mudra loan scheme to promote entrepreneurship should not remain just on paper but benefit the Northeast, especially unemployed educated youths. There are over 15 lakh educated unemployed in Assam. "If the Mudra scheme is successful, youths will stop running after government jobs."
He said loan repayment is equally important on the beneficiaries' part. "If loans are repaid on time, banks get confidence in giving out loans for future ventures. Banks should encourage people for Mudra bank scheme," he said, adding that banks can help people immensely in this remote part of the country by including them in the scheme.
SBI chief general manager P.V.S.L.N. Murty said after demonetisation, Assam has been the first state to implement all the guidelines of the department of financial services (DFS), especially in reaching out to the tea garden community by installing ATMs and opening bank accounts. He said the people of the region have become more tech-savvy by using banks' digital channels, especially in using passbook updating machines, which is 87 per cent and above the national average. He thanked Dispur for waiving duty and sale taxes for ATM machines in tea gardens.
DFS joint secretary Pankaj Jain said the Centre is focusing on a less-cash economy. "Not only financial inclusion, but we are also enabling people in digitally utilising various financial products like savings accounts, deposits, insurance, loans and other banking services," he said.
As many as 262 letters for Mudra loan worth Rs 7.8 crore and 29 letters for Start-up India loan worth Rs 5.60 crore were distributed to the beneficiaries today. Twenty-five banks and six insurance companies took part in the campaign. Successful entrepreneurs were felicitated.