The New Year has begun on a good note for Self Help Groups in Goa with the government finally launching its scheme to fund them and also announcing construction of a shopping mall at Margao for them.
The government has provided a corpus of Rs 40 lakh to get the scheme announced by Chief Minister Digambar Kamat to provide funds for SHG in his last budget speech.
Under the scheme, SHG will be provided one time non-recurring grant of up to 50 per cent of the project extent with the limit being Rs 50 thousand as seed capital.
Another 45 per cent will be provided through EDC, nationalized banks, village co-operative societies or other financial companies. Thus SHG will have to invest only five per cent of the cost of the project with the balance 95 per cent coming from the government coffers.
Under the scheme, traditional businesses like agro processing, cashew nut roasting, coconut oil extraction, production of pickles, papads, handicrafts, etc are expected to get a boost.
In another related development, the government has approved construction of a shopping cum exhibition mall for SHG in Margao which is expected to cost around Rs 4 crores.
According to the Chief Minister, 1,000 square meters of land near the South Goa District Court has been allotted for this purpose.
It is proposed to reserve the ground floor of the building exclusively for SHG to display their products specially handicrafts. The mall is proposed to be constructed with funds under the MPLAD scheme and is targeted to attract the large number of tourists visiting South Goa to carry home mementos from Goa.