FINANCIAL INCLUSION OF SCs AND STsDEVENDRA VISHWAKARMA
PM Modi has recently inaugurated the National Conference of Dalit Entrepreneurs.
PM Modi, citing B R Ambedkar, architect of the Indian Constitution and an accomplished economist of higher order, remarked that industrialisation will give maximum benefits to dalits.
In order to promote financial inclusion of dalits, implementation of existing policies in a serious manner is necessary. There is no need to come up with new policies. For example, for financing SC entrepreneurs there was National Scheduled Caste Financial and Development Corporation. It can fund any SC entrepreneur up to 30 lakhs. But getting finance from NSFDC is not encouraging and it is painful.
Govt has a new procurement policy (for PSUs) which mandates that 20% should be sourced from SMEs and out of this, 20% has to come from dalit entrepreneurs – which means 4% of the total to be procured from dalit entrepreneurs. Such schemes from govt are providing market for dalit entrepreneurs.
The MUDRA bank (up to 10 lakhs) and IFCI venture capital fund (up to 15 crores) are providing encouraging environment for dalits take up entrepreneurship.
Dalit entrepreneurs are facing both social and economic discrimination.
The Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is doing a great work to push for entrepreneurship from within the dalit community. They undertake workshops to encourage the existing and new entrepreneurs. The present conference is also a part of this movement.
There is an improvement in the availability of early stage funding; professional entrepreneurial development programs are being held. What needs to be done apparently is that they should be more tailored to the needs of dalit entrepreneurs and help them scale up their operations.