Greener BeeGreen GadgetsPolyhouses, e-rickshaws eligible for funding: Gehlot

Construction of polyhouses and purchase of e-rickshaws, solar energy gadgets and compressed air vehicles are eligible for funding under the Green Business Scheme of the National Scheduled Castes Finance and Development Corporation (NSFDC).

The corporation has been implementing the scheme to encourage the target groups to take up income-generating activities that also tackle climate change and reduce green house emission, said Thawar Chand Gehlot, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, on Monday.

Briefing reporters after holding a meeting of the Consultative Committee of Parliament for the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Mr. Gehlot said NSFDC has sanctioned Rs. 27.18 crore and disbursed Rs. 14.25 crore for the construction of 443 polyhouse units in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, and for the purchase of 1,885 units of e-rickshaws in Bihar, Delhi, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, during the last two years.

The committee’s fourth meeting, held in Mysuru on Monday, focused on NSFDC, a Central public sector enterprise offering 11 loan schemes and one grant scheme. Under its loan schemes, Mr. Gehlot said, NSFDC provides financial assistance ranging from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 30 lakh to Scheduled Caste entrepreneurs to set up their own business. Under the grant scheme, the corporation provides 100 per cent grants for skill development training programmes and a stipend of Rs. 1,500 a month for trainees in the fields of apparel technology, information technology, leather, plastics engineering, and accounting and insurance, etc.

Referring to the achievements of the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment in Karnataka, Mr. Gehlot said Rs. 240 crore has been transferred to the Industrial Finance Corporation of India during the last two years as venture capital fund for Scheduled Castes.

“Till now, 55 SC entrepreneurs have been sanctioned Rs. 200 crore, with about Rs. 105 crore already disbursed,” he said. He added that the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment has disbursed Rs. 288.18 crore in scholarships between from 2014-15 till September 2016.

Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Krishan Pal Gurjar and State Social Welfare Minister H. Anjaneya were among those who took part in the meeting.

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