Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Wednesday released Rs 395 crore under Jagananna Thodu for interest-free loans. Under this scheme, Rs 10,000 each would be given to 3.95 lakh small-time traders and artisans to make them self-sufficient.
The Chief Minister also released Rs 15.17 crore towards reimbursement of interest to benefit 13.28 lakh beneficiaries who have repaid loans promptly in the last six months.
In his remarks at the release programme at his official residence, he said: "Beneficiaries of the scheme, besides becoming part and parcel of the self-employed community are also helping the society indirectly in a great way."
Jagan Mohan Reddy stated that it is a matter of pride for the state that it has sanctioned Rs 2,406 crore interest-free loans to 15,31,347 beneficiaries. As many as 8,74,745 traders and artisans have promptly repaid their loans and have become an inseparable part of the scheme.
"This indicates a good change in the society," he observed. The CM reiterated that eligible people who could not avail the scheme for various reasons in the past could still apply through village and ward secretariats and such people would be included in the scheme at the end of social audit every six months.
Stating the reason behind the government's push, he said that he had seen the hardships of several artisans and traders during his Praja Sankalpa Yatra and had decided back then that he would end their woes by introducing the Jagananna Thodu and assisting them in every possible manner.
"With today's disbursal that benefits 28,000 new traders and artisans, the government has so far reimbursed Rs.63.65 crore as interest alone while the total loan amount sanctioned has benefitted 15.31 lakh people of which 80 per cent belong to SC, ST, BC and minority communities," he said.
Vendors who sell fruits, vegetables and food stuffs on push carts, people running roadside tiffin centres and others selling products in baskets and vending products on motor cycles and auto rickshaws besides Bobbili veena makers, artisans involved in brass work, Kondapalli and Etikoppaka toy makers, puppet, Kalankari and lace makers are among the beneficiaries.