Government

Are Banks Really Giving Out Loans Under the Stand Up India Scheme?

Only 6% of banks have given loans to Dalits or Adivasis, and less than 25% to a woman.

Commuters walk past a bank sign along a road in New Delhi in this November 25, 2015 file photo. Credit: Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee/Files

Commuters walk past a bank sign along a road in New Delhi in this November 25, 2015 file photo. Credit: Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee/Files

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Stand Up India programme was launched 17 months ago. All banks were told to ensure that every branch must give two loans – one to a Dalit or Adivasi and one to a woman – to help them set up a new business enterprise.

However, an RTI filed by the Indian Express has revealed that things aren’t quite on track with the scheme. Between April 5, 2016 (when Modi announced the programme) and September 24, 2017, only 6% of the 1.3 lakh bank branches in the country have provided Stand Up India loans to SC or ST individuals. In addition, less than 25% have provided loans to women from the general category, Indian Express reported.

According to data received from the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, 21 public sector commercial banks, 42 regional rural banks and nine private sector banks have provided Stand Up India loans to 5,852 SC applicants, 1,761 ST individuals and 33,321 general category women, the newspaper said. Loans worth Rs 8,803 crore have been sanctioned so far, of which Rs 4,852 crore has been disbursed.

The 21 public sector commercial banks sanctioned loans to 38,111 individuals under the Stand Up India scheme – 5,559 to SCs, 1,653 to STs and 30,899 to general category women. The average amount disbursed to SC/ST applicants is Rs 10 lakh while the average for women is Rs 12.27 lakh, the Indian Express says.

Of the nine private banks, IndusInd Bank has sanctioned 184 Stand Up India loans to Dalits. The others, taken together, have provided only 12 loans to SC individuals. nine banks have together sanctioned such loans to only 196 SC, 76 ST individuals and 2,015 general category women. Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, South Indian Bank and The Nainital Bank have not provided a single Stand Up India loan to an SC individual, the newspaper reported, and Axis Bank, Federal Bank, ICICI Bank, The Nainital Bank and Yes Bank have not provided any loans to ST individuals.

The record of regional rural banks isn’t perfect either. Of the 42 such banks, 15 haven’t given a loan to an SC and 33 banks have not sanctioned even one such loan to any ST individual.