Smriti Irani Praises PM Narendra Modi’s Push, Crunches Numbers For Women’s Enterprise

Smriti Irani Praises PM's Push, Crunches Numbers For Women's Enterprise


Union Minister Smriti Irani said today that data about women have thrown up a stunning story of enterprise at the grassroots. Speaking to NDTV on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meet at Davos, Switzerland, she said it turns out that an exponential number of women belonging to the lower rungs of society have sought bank loans to start their businesses.

Citing numbers, she said under Mudra, 400 million bank loans were given. Of the beneficiaries, 70 per cent were women, “which means 280 million loans were only for women,” she told NDTV.

“What is fascinating,” she said, is that 230 million women open their bank accounts, courtesy Jan Dhan, but 280 million women turn up for loans.

“This might be easy for those who are at Davos, who are accustomed to engaging with financial institutions to get credit for their businesses in large volumes,” Ms Irani said.

“But imagine a woman who has lived her entire life in a village, or who has lived in a slum, to create a business plan, go to a bank, convince the bank that her plan is functional, receive the credit, service the business need, and then service the loan, pay it back and then take repeated loan to grow her business,” said the minister, who handles the Women and Child Development portfolio.

“Revolution is not only at the top, where stand-ups and start-ups have created an ecosystem of enterprise. The revolution at the grassroot is exponential.

“We have 9 crore women who are managing 37 million dollars’ worth of business yearly — that’s the Self Help Groups,” she said, underscoring that women become the “fulcrum for growth” when they are made equal partners in the growth process as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done.

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