JAMMU- The Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Tuesday reiterated Government of India’s commitment to develop the banking sector and extend banking facilities in the UT.

“I will ensure that more bank activities take place in J&K and more Public Sector Banks come here in all the districts so that every person has access to banking facilities”, said the Finance Minister while addressing a function after launching new schemes and handing over orders to various beneficiaries under the financial inclusion and credit outreach programme held at General Zorawar Singh Auditorium Complex, University of Jammu.

On the occasion, the Union Finance Minister handed over sanction letters amounting to Rs. 306 crores to 145 beneficiaries of different banks and credit linked schemes like Pradhan Mantri Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), MUDRA Scheme, Self-Help Groups (SHGs), Joint-Liability Groups (JLGs) etc.

The Finance Minister also announced new schemes and initiatives for J&K which included the launch of Tejaswini & Hausla schemes; Shikhar and Shikara schemes of Punjab National Bank (PNB) and SIDBI’s Rs. 200 crore Cluster Development Fund, besides laying the e-foundation stone of Rural Self Employment Training Institute (RSETI) building at Shopian and Baramulla,

Under PNB’s special scheme ‘Shikara’, credit up to Rs. 15 lakh will be provided for purchase/repair of Shikaras and houseboats. While, Shikhar scheme focuses on meeting credit requirements up to Rs. 2 crore for the Hotel, Tour & Tourism industry.

JKTPO’s Hausla Scheme will empower existing women entrepreneurs to be role-models in their respective sectors by providing skill development, as well as credit support, marketing support & mentorship. Under Tejaswini Scheme, financial assistance up to Rs 5 lakh to be given to young women for setting up gainful self-employment ventures.

The occasion witnessed the inauguration of various projects by the Union Finance Minister including three J&K Bank branches in Reasi district. Under the aegis of NABARD, registration certificates to 5 FPOs and sanction letter of rural mart to Asha SHG were also handed over.

Earlier, the Finance Minister and the Lt Governor visited stalls put up by beneficiaries from J&K Bank, SBI, PNB, J&K Grameen Bank and NABARD, among others. They interacted with the beneficiaries and enquired about the transformative effect the bank credit has made in their entrepreneurial journey. The Finance Minister also evinced keen interest in the products made by the entrepreneurs.


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