Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK) is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Women & Child Development (MWCD). It is a society registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860 and an apex micro-finance organization. The main objective of setting up of RMK was to provide micro-credit to poor women for various livelihood support and income generating activities at concessional terms in a client-friendly procedure to bring about their socio-economic development. In fact, the quasi-formal delivery mechanism, simple procedure, in-built flexibility and concessional rates of interest are some of the hallmarks of the credit packages of the RMK.
RMK has been following the loan guidelines which were framed at the time of its inception. Over the period of time changes in the quantum of loan, interest rates and the loan schemes of RMK have been carried out by Governing Board of RMK. Through these loaning guidelines RMK have made a cumulative sanction of more than Rs.360.00 crore, disbursement of Rs.302.00 crore to more than 7.35 lacs poor women beneficiaries through a network of over 1500 NGOs/IMOs.
As a result of review of the functioning of RMK during 2014-2015, the following measures have been taken by the Government to revamp the RMK:
i) Simplification of Loan Procedures: With a view to make loaning guidelines of RMK more effective and customer friendly, the lending guidelines have been further revised and simplified by the 55th Governing Board (GB) of RMK held on 17.11.2015.
ii) Downward revision in Rate of Interest (RoI): During the past 2 year period, RoI of RMK loans has been revised downward twice. Firstly w.e.f 01.04.2013 maximum RoI chargeable by RMK to NGO was reduced from 8 % to 6 % and by NGOs to end beneficiary from 18% to 14 %. RoI chargeable to end beneficiaries by NGOs have been further reduced to 10 % from 14 % as per 55th Governing Board (GB) meeting held on 17.11.2015.
The 52nd GB of RMK in its meeting dated 03rd December, 2014 decided to continue lending loan to poor women @ 6% p.a. against recommended interest rate of 9 – 10 %. The Mahila E-haat was launched by the Hon’ble Minister of MWCD on 7th March, 2016 at New Delhi.
The Vision, Mission and Goal of Mahila E-haat are:
Vision: to empower & strengthen financial inclusion of Women Entrepreneurs in the economy by providing continued sustenance and support to their creativity.
Mission: to act as a catalyst by providing a web based marketing platform to the women entrepreneurs to directly sell to the buyers.
Goal: to support ‘Make in India’ through digital marketing platform.
The cumulative net numbers of defaulters under loan schemes of RMK is 454 as on 31.03.2015. In the event of default, necessary legal action under Section 138 of Negotiable Instrumental Act, filling of Civil Suit and other recovery proceeding through appointment of Arbitrator are taken. Simultaneously the defaulting NGOs are blacklisted whereby they are debarred from availing any sort of grants or aid by any Central / State Govt. agency.
The functioning of RMK is being further strengthened through addition of Mahila E-haat portal, revision of loan guidelines and downward revision of interest rates.
This information was given by the Union Minister of Women and Child Development, Smt Maneka Sanjay Gandhi in reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.