AMARAVATI: In a bid to closely monitor employment generation programs initiated by the government, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has proposed the creation of a dedicated wing under the Panchayat Raj Department. During a review meeting of the Panchayat Raj and Rural Department on Monday, the Chief Minister announced the implementation of a zero-interest loan scheme for women starting from August 10, 2023. He emphasized the need for officials to provide continuous support to women’s self-help groups, ensuring the successful operation of their units based on periodical assessment reports.
Chief Minister YS Jagan also urged officials to focus on resurveying lands in villages and establishing digital libraries in both rural and urban areas. He encouraged the promotion of self-employment schemes for women under the ‘Cheyutha’ program, emphasizing that women beneficiaries would greatly benefit from utilizing the first tranche amounts for self-employment ventures.
Appreciating the appointment of surveyors in all village secretariats, YS Jagan highlighted that this move had facilitated a speedy completion of surveys, making Andhra Pradesh the only state to introduce registration services in villages. He directed officials to prioritize the identification and construction of digital libraries and village clinics. Additionally, he stressed the importance of providing essential facilities and excellent sanitation in Jagananna Colonies to ensure a pleasant living environment.
Addressing the economic empowerment of women, Chief Minister YS Jagan noted that the government provides Rs 18,750 to each member of women’s self-help groups annually, totaling Rs 75,000 over four years under YSR Cheyutha. He urged officials to focus on facilitating bank loans for women and encouraging them to establish self-employment ventures, thus generating additional revenue.
Recognizing women as a marginalized group, Chief Minister YS Jagan called upon officials to advocate for reduced interest rates on loans negotiated with banks for these women. He highlighted the success in reducing the interest rate on self-help group bank loans to 9 percent and urged similar efforts to reduce the interest rate on Stree Nidhi loans.
During the meeting, it was reported that the State had accomplished 18.90 crore man-days under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), nearing the target of 24 crore man-days. A total amount of Rs 3,860 crore would be paid towards wages for these labor activities.