Noida: Giving a push to government's financial inclusion programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched the Stand-up India scheme under which 1.25 lakh bank branches will provide loans up to Rs 1 crore to SC/ST and women entrepreneurs.
At a function, which was organised to mark birth anniversary of dalit leader and former Deputy Prime Minister Babu Jagjivan Ram, Modi flagged off 5,100 e-rickshaws.
Explaining the contours of Stand-up India programme, Modi said this will help in creating 2.5 lakh entrepreneurs throughout the country as every bank branch will be required to provide two such loans ranging from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1 crore without collateral for setting up a new enterprise.
Stressing that it is not possible for the government to provide jobs to everyone, the Prime Minister said the scheme will convert "job-seekers into job-creators...This scheme is going to transform the lives of people from dalit and tribal communities."
Stand up India, he said, aims to empower every Indian and enable them to stand on their own feet.
The scheme was announced by Modi in his Independence Day address.
Modi also took a dig at the Congress by pointing out that no previous government had organised any function on the birth anniversary of Jagjivan Ram, who as agriculture minister did a lot to usher the green revolution and was defence minister at the time of 1971 war.
"It is unfortunate that contribution of such people is being ignored," he said.
Speaking at the function, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said his ministry, which is usually associated with big business houses, in the last two years has tried to work for the betterment of the poor people.
He recalled various schemes of the government like Jan Dhan Yojana, insurance and pension and MUDRA Yojana to promote financial inclusion with the view to empower the poor.