Nalgonda (Telangana) [India], August 13 (ANI): Telangana Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Bandi Sanjay Kumar on Friday urged that the state government release Rs 4,000 crore interest arrears due to be paid to self-help women groups (SHGs) under Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA) on the occasion of "Raksha Bandhan" festival.
According to the statement official statement, in a letter to Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, Sanjay said at a time when womenfolk across the country were celebrating the Rakhi Pournami festival with a lot of jubilation, self-help group women belonging to DWCRA were in deep distress due to lack of any support from the state government.
"In the last eight years of inefficient and indifferent Telangana Rashtra Samithi regime, the DWCRA groups were totally paralysed putting the women members to untold miseries," he said.
Sanjay pointed out that there were 3,99,120 women, in self-help groups, under the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP), comprising 43,29,058 members. Under the Mission for Elimination of Poverty in Municipal Areas (MEPMA), there were, in all, 1,81,225 members.
"These women groups have been waiting for funds from the state government, but it has not been releasing them on time, resulting in severe distress among them. Many women members had taken bank loans hoping to get an interest rebate from the government, but there has been no response from the Centre," he said.
The BJP president pointed out that the arrears of the interest rebate to be paid by the government to these women groups under SERP and MEPMA had mounted to nearly Rs 4,000 crore.
"Though the state government claimed to have earmarked Rs 3,000 crore towards interest payment to women groups in 2021-22, it has not released the same. Similarly, in the present financial year 2022-23, the government allotted Rs 1,250 crore, but so far, not a penny was released," he said.
If the women groups do not pay interest to the banks on time, they would be under pressure from the banks. "Due to the indifferent attitude of the state government in releasing the interest arrears on time every month, the bank authorities are declaring the self-help groups as defaulters," he said.
Sanjay said at least on the Rakhi festival day, the state government should release Rs 4,000 crore dues to women groups towards interest payments, so that they would celebrate the festival in a happy mood. (ANI)