The textile ministry has decided to rope in large public sector banks to partner under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana scheme to extend concessional loans up to 5 lakh to handloom weavers in all states, Alok Kumar, development commissioner, handlooms said.
The centre has decided to discontinue the Weaver Credit Card scheme, which provides a maximum loan of 2 lakh and from July, handloom weavers will be extended credit only under the Weaver Mudra scheme, which will have the additional feature of allowing them to withdraw the sanctioned amount from ATMs using RuPay cards.
The decision has been taken following the huge success of the pilot project under the ‘PNB Weaver Mudra Scheme’ in Varanasi and Bhubaneswar as the average credit disbursed doubled to Rs.50,000 for the 500 weavers covered as opposed to an average of only Rs.23,000 under the existing Weaver Credit Card scheme.
Through this new scheme, cash-starved small handloom weavers across the country are set to get almost double the credit available now in a move aimed at helping them increase their productivity and gain independence from master weavers.
The Weaver Mudra Scheme, too, will provide credit at concessional rates as the credit card scheme. It has been modified from the original Mudra scheme to incorporate the 3 per cent interest subvention provided to handloom weavers for three years.
The centre plans to cover five lakh weavers under the Mudra scheme over the next three years and has sought the assistance of states. They will ask states to take a number of weaver clusters, talk to banks and then saturate the clusters in one year so that it has a sizeable impact and monitoring is easy. There are over 23 lakh looms in the country.