Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday asked banks to step up their focus on the unorganised sector, stating that such efforts would help improve employment in the country.
"The reality of India is that more people are in the unorganised sector than those in the organised sector. Banks should focus on the unorganised sector," Jaitley said at a Nabard event to mark the silver jubilee of SHG-Bank Linkage programme.
Jaitley said he was hopeful that the Nabard-led initiative of SHG-Bank Linkage Programme would further expand in the coming days.
Over a span of 25 years, the SHG-Bank linkage programme has grown into a massive movement with 85 lakh SHGs across the country now part of this programme. The total loan exposure of the banking system to these self-help groups (SHGs) is about Rs. 61,000 crore.
In her address, Financial Services Secretary Anjuly Chibb Duggal, said the Centre is now trying to link SHGs with social security schemes.
Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, Chairman, Nabard, said Nabard has embarked on digitisation of SHG accounts and already SHGs in 25 districts have been covered. Plans are afoot to expand this to 100 districts by end-March 2018.
"We are also planning to cover all the districts of the country in the coming years," Bhanwala told BusinessLine here.