$100 million Loan Agreement to elevate rural economy of Tamil Nadu

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World BankThe Government of India, the Government of Tamil Nadu and the World Bank today signed a $100 million Loan Agreement for the economic upliftment of the rural people of Tamil Nadu.

“The Government of India and the World Bank today signed a $100 million Loan Agreement that is expected to promote rural enterprises, facilitate their access to finance, and create employment opportunities for youth, particularly women, in selected blocks of Tamil Nadu,” the Ministry of Finance today said in a statement.

The fund is said to be utilised in promoting rural enterprises, facilitate access to finance, and create employment opportunities for youth, particularly women, in 120 blocks across 3,994 villages in 26 Districts that is said to benefit 411,620 rural citizens of Tamil Nadu.

It is learnt that 30 per cent of the financing is being provided through project’s matching grant program and 70 per cent to be leveraged from other financial institutions, an official statement said.

Joint Secretary of the Economic Affairs Department, Ministry of Finance, Sameer Kumar Khare said, “The Project will enable producer organizations and enterprises especially women entrepreneurs in Tamil Nadu, build businesses that will help them access finance, markets and networks and generate employment.”

Selective households from socially and culturally disadvantaged groups, which are part of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) are eligible to harness their existing assets, skills, and resources, the statement said.

In the first phase, 26 blocks will be taken up for implementation across districts in the first eight months, followed by 52 blocks by the end of 12 months, and the remaining 42 blocks by the end of 18 months. 

According to World Bank Country Director for India Junaid Ahmad the bank-financed State Livelihood Projects, which have so far reached over 35 million people, have given the rural poor a greater sense of identity, and better services and livelihood opportunities.

He said, “This Project will build on those achievements and support Tamil Nadu’s rural enterprises access to finance, build business skills and create jobs.”

A newly created platform, Tamil Nadu Rural Transformation Marketplace has been given charge to identify, showcase and celebrate innovative solutions related to themes that have the potential to impact rural economic growth in the State.

Tamil Nadu Additional Chief Secretary Hans Raj Verma said, “The Project will support building an (Startup) ecosystem that will provide business development services to entrepreneurs in rural and semi-urban areas for promoting rural enterprises and creating employment opportunities.”

“It will specifically target at least 60 percent women entrepreneurs from the SHG network in Tamil Nadu who have the potential to move into the next level of economic integration,” he added.

An e-governance architecture Management Information System (MIS) is said to be used to monitor and track real-time results.

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