CM announces loans for women SHGs at 0% interest; BJP sees vote bank politics

Puri: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today played another card to entice women voters ahead of assembly poll. Eying women voters, Patnaik today convened a mass convention of Mission Shakti groups in Puri, where he announced loans at zero per cent interest to empower women self-help groups (SHG).

The CM also inaugurated several welfare schemes for the SHGs including financial assistance of Rs 15,000 seed money, Rs 3,000 for smartphones and Rs 25 lakh for block-level federations.

On the other hand, the announcement didn’t go well with BJP which slammed the government for trying to make women as vote bank.

BJP leader Aparajita Sarangi said that BJD has no alternative to empower women financially, except giving seed money.

“In 2013-14, the state had 5.23 lakh SHGs and now claims 3 lakh new SHGs since April, 2017. Should have been a total of 8.23 lakh SHGs but government figures show 6 lakh SHGs. How did the Houdini act of 2.23 lakh vanishing SHGs happen?” she tweeted.

She further tweeted that  the Women and Child Development Department dated October 15, 2018, had given direction to all Collectors to distribute seed money to SHGs. Why was the government waiting till January? Isn’t there a clear linkage between seed money and vote bank politics?

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