Banks exceeded the target under government's flagship scheme Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana PMMY by sanctioning loans of more than Rs 1.80 lakh crore to the unorganised sector last fiscal, notwithstanding the impact of demonetization on banking services for at least two months.
With the objective to 'fund the unfunded', the government had set a loan target of Rs 1.80 lakh crore under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana in 2016-17.
"Sanctions currently stand at Rs 1,80,087 crore with final data still awaited from some of the smaller non-banking lenders," said a finance ministry statement. Of this amount, Rs 1,23,000 crore was lent by banks while non-banking institutions lent about Rs 57,000 crore.
The government had demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes last November, impacting banking operations throughout the country but it did not have any bearing on the operations of the PMMY scheme.
Launched in April 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the scheme provides for loans from Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 lakh to small entrepreneurs. The Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency Ltd (MUDRA) focuses on the 5.75 crore self-employed who use funds of Rs 11 lakh crore and provide jobs to 12 crore people.
70% Women borrowers
Data compiled so far shows the number of borrowers this year were over 4 crore, of which over 70 per cent were women borrowers. About 20 per cent of the borrowers were from the Scheduled Caste Category, 5 per cent from the Scheduled Tribe Category, while Other Backward Classes accounted for almost 35 per cent of the borrowers.
"The achievements of both public sector banks and private banks have been extremely encouraging. The robust growth in bank loans to unfunded and underfunded segments is an indication of the emergence of this category of borrowers as a key driver of demand for credit," it said.
The Budget has announced a target of Rs 2.44 lakh crore for Mudra Loans during 2017-18. There would be a special focus within the Mudra Scheme on convergence with other government schemes, deepening connect with borrowers and meeting credit requirements of trainees completing skilling course, it said. Mudra Loans are available for non-agricultural activities up to Rs 10 lakh and activities allied to agriculture such as Dairy, Poultry, Bee Keeping etc, are also covered.
The statement further said that Mudra's unique features include a Card which permits access to working capital through ATMs and Card Machines. "Evaluation studies show that banks have been proactive in identifying and disbursing loans to first time borrowers thereby weaning them away from money lenders. Borrowers particularly value three attributes of Mudra Loans viz, non-insistence on guarantor or collateral, simple documentation and quick processing," it said.
Three products are available under the PMMY namely Shishu, Kishor and Tarun to signify the stage of growth and funding needs of the beneficiary micro unit or entrepreneur. Shishu covers loans up to Rs. 50,000 while Kishor covers above Rs. 50,000 and up to Rs 5 lakh. Tarun category provides loans of above Rs 5 lakh and up to Rs 10 lakh.