State Bank of India and Nabard have signed an agreement with five NGOs in Bengal for the promotion of 2,500 joint liability groups (JLGs) in select districts of the State.
JLGs are informal groups of 4-10 members engaged in similar economic activities and willing to jointly undertake the responsibility to repay loans taken by the group from a bank. They are typically credit groups of small or marginal tenant farmers who do not have a proper title of their farmland.
Through these JLGs, SBI plans to extend assistance to the financially excluded sections of the society, especially landless farmers in the districts of Purulia, Paschim Medinipur, Purba Medinipur, Burdwan and North 24 Parganas, said Partha Pratim Sengupta, Chief General Manager, SBI, LHO, in a press statement. The bank hopes to be able to extend support to close to 12,500 tenant farmers under this arrangement. Plans are also afoot to scale up the project in a phased manner to cover the remaining districts.
Nabard has fixed a target of credit linking 80,000 JLGs in West Bengal in 2017-18. It has sanctioned assistance for the promotion of 60,000 JLGs by various NGOs in the State through 339 projects in different districts till date, said AK Raybarman, CGM, Nabard West Bengal Regional Office.