The Scheduled Castes & Backward Classes Welfare Minister, Punjab, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot has exhorted the youth of the state to avail loan welfare schemes being run by the State Government to be able to find avenues of self employment which would ensure their economic progress.Disclosing this here today, the minister said that the Punjab Backward Classes Land Development and Finance Corporation (BACKFINCO) is running several schemes aimed at providing loans to the youth at low interest rates which can act as a catalyst for the skilled and enterprising youth to be well off financially by initiating their own ventures. He also said that BACKFINCO also provides loans for pursuing higher education. He further said that as per the direct loan scheme, the BACKFINCO provides loan upto Rs. 5 Lakh at an interest rate of 6 percent.Disclosing more, he said that this loan can be availed to start ventures for e.g. Dairy Farming (3-5 Animals), Poultry Farming, Growing Vegetables, Honey Bee Keeping, Carpentry/Furniture/Blacksmith ventures, Flour Mill, Auto-Rickshaw (Passenger/Freight Carrying), General Store (Karyana/Cattle/Poultry Feed), Hardware Store (Sanitary and Building Material, Steel etc.), Textile/Readymade Garment Shop, Books/Stationery Shop, Photostat Machine, Tailoring, Agricultural Implements (Fabrication), Automobile repair/Spare parts shop, Electronics/Electrical Sale and Repair, Fabrication Unit, Photography and Videograhy, Hosiery Units, Small Scale Industrial Unit (Manufacturing any goods/material), Sweet Shop/Dhaba, Beauty Parlour and Pandal or Shamiana Service.
Apart from this, under the schemes run with assistance from other corporations, the students hailing from backward classes and minorities are provided loans worth Rs. 10 lakh for studying in India and Rs. 20 lakh for studying abroad at an annual interest rate of 3-4 percent. He also said for girls of the backward classes category the interest rate is 3.5 percent annually and the loan is returned after 6 months of course completion in monthly installments over 5 years.The minister also divulged that it is necessary to fulfill main criteria of BACKFINCO to avail the loans. The candidate must be a permanent resident of Punjab with age between 18-55 and must belong to the backward class category as declared by the Punjab Government or minority category as declared by the Union Government. The annual family income of people hailing from backward classes must be upto Rs. 150000 and those living in rural areas and belonging to minority category must have an annual family income less than Rs. 98,000 while those hailing from urban areas and belonging to the minority category must have annual income less than Rs. 120000. In case anybody wants to avail the loan in the technical category then he/she should be at least matriculate. The minister also revealed that the youth having professional qualification would be preferred whereas the condition is not mandatory under the non-technical and the ancestral schemes.