J&K Bank launches micro credit scheme
Friday, 29 December 2006, 06:00 Hrs
Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Bank has introduced a micro credit scheme in the state, advancing loans to farmers and vegetable and milk vendors on easy terms and conditions to strengthen the rural economy here. The bank is the first financial institution to launch such a scheme in the border state and it expects help several hundreds of people in the rural areas in the beginning. The scheme has been launched in two major rural blocks, one each in Jammu region and the Kashmir valley. The bank has selected Ranbirsinghpora, known as the rice bowl of the state, in Jammu. This block is about 25 km west of Jammu and borders Pakistan. The land is fertile and produces high quality basmati rice. In the valley, the bank has selected Budgum, which produces and exports vegetables worth 2 billion a year. "We are hopeful that this scheme would help local entrepreneurs in a big way and also transform the economy of these areas," Jammu and Kashmir Bank chairman Haseeb Drabu told media Thursday. The loan amount could range anywhere between 100,000 and one million, depending on the capacity of the entrepreneur for business and repayments. The micro credit scheme differs from the usual term loan system, as the entrepreneurs will not be obligated to repay on monthly basis for a particular period of time. "They would be free to make the repayment of as much amount as possible as per their convenience. There would be no monthly installments," Drabu said. The bank hopes to generate more profits and at the same time help the people in the rural areas to take benefit of the scheme and strengthen their income. "It is our way to move forward," Drabu said.