The ‘Stand up India’ scheme was launched by the Prime Minister of India Mr Narendra Modi last week. According to the announcement made at the launch, 1.25 lakh bank branches will provide loans up to Rs 1 crore under the scheme. In fact, each branch will be required to provide two such loans ranging from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1 crore without collateral for setting up a new enterprise. The Scheme is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship among Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes and women with facilities like RuPay Debit Card for withdrawal and comprehensive support like pre-loan training, facilitating loan, factoring and marketing. "The 'Stand up India' programme aims to empower every Indian and enable them to stand on their own feet,” the PM said at the launch further adding that the initiative will help job seekers become job creators.
It is important to note that there would be a Rs 10,000 crore refinance window through Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Ltd (NCGTC) will create a corpus of Rs 5,000 crore. The process is expected to be led by the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) with participation from the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI) and several other sector-specific institutions across the country. The SIDBI and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) offices shall be designated Stand Up Connect Centres (SUCC) under this Scheme.
The government also plans to create a web portal for online registration and support services and also prepare a credit history of borrowers under this Scheme. The overall intent of the proposal is to leverage the institutional credit structure to reach out to these undeserved sectors of the population by facilitating bank loans in the non-farm sector set up by such SC, ST and women borrowers. It is expected that the ‘Stand up India’ Scheme will emerge as a big boost to entrepreneurship among SC, ST and women. In fact, experts have lauded the initial announcements made under the Scheme and believe that the initiative has the potential to be a big job creator in the long run.