SHG-Post office Linkage Programme
A pilot SHG-post office linkage programme was launched by NABARD in December 2003. This programme envisaged credit linking 200 SHGs in select 5 districts of Tamil Nadu, viz., Sivaganga, Pudukottai, Tiruvannamalai, Tanjavur and Tiruvarur.
The objectives of the pilot programme were to
- Examine the feasibility of utilizing the vast network of post offices in rural areas for disbursement of credit to rural poor on agency basis; and
- To test the efficacy of Department of Posts in providing micro finance services to rural clientele.
The salient features of the scheme are:
- Post offices open savings accounts in the name of SHGs promoted by identified NGOs.
- The SHGs with savings accounts in the post office and which are six months old are provided loan by the post office, in multiples of their savings, based on the rating exercise on the lines of those adopted by banks.
- Post offices provide term loans to SHGs repayable within two years in 24 monthly installments.
- Post offices charge an interest of 9 per cent per annum on the loans given to SHGs using a reducing balance method.
- Post offices do not collect any loan processing charges or any other charges from SHGs.
- Project Implementation and Monitoring Committee (PIMCs) at district and State level are constituted by the post office.
- The district PIMC is responsible for smooth grounding of the project, sorting out operational issues and identification of appropriate NGOs. The PIMC meets on a quarterly basis.
- State level PIMCs review overall implementation of the project, suggest new initiatives and recommend release of funds by NABARD to the Department of Posts.
- Department of Posts maintain separate books of accounts for all transactions relating to utilization and operations of Revolving Fund Assistance (RFA) from NABARD.
Under the project, NABARD provides financial support for capacity building programmes of postal officials. While loans are given at interest rates of 9 per cent per annum to SHGs by post offices, post offices would be allowed to retain an interest margin of 3 per cent. The amount of actual interest collected from the SHGs would be shared between NABARD and post offices in the ratio of 2:1.
Current Status of SHG-Post Office Linkage Programme:
- As at March 2009 I could get this data only as most reliable and recent, a total of ` 213.11 lakh has been sanctioned as RFA to the post offices by NABARD.