Friday, April 30, 2010

Finance Minister announces loan package to 5 Village Level Entrepreneurs of Sahaj

April 21, 2010 In a large public gathering Mr Pranab Mukherjee, Finance Minister, Government of India, today announced the disbursement of loan amounting to Rs 1. 25 lakh each to five Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) of Srei Sahaj e-Village Ltd. Srei Sahaj e-Village Ltd is a private sector organization which has taken up the task of providing wide array of government services through the Common Service Centre (CSC) framework across rural India.

The loan was disbursed by S. Sridhar, CMD - Central Bank of India at the inauguration of a Central Bank branch by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee at Margram in West Bengals Murshidabad district. In the presence of the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Srei Sahaj CEO Dr. Sabahat Azim, COO Lt. Col. Sinha and CMO Major Ashutosh, Mr. S. Sridhar announced, Central Bank of India and Srei Sahaj have partnered to provide loans to 3,300 VLEs in the state of West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh within 3 months. This would be an active step in the implementation of the CSC scheme and in the process become a partner of the government for development in rural India.

The purpose of the loan was to extend financial support and enable the VLEs to set up Common Service Centres, a strategic cornerstone of Governments National e-Governance Plan (NeGP). The CSCs, under the Private-Public Partnership (PPP) arrangement, offer e-governance services in rural areas and high-quality and cost-effective access to information, backed with relevant infrastructure and services in areas such as education, health and entertainment.


The five VLEs who benefited from these disbursements include: Milan Mukherjee, Syed Mahibul Hussain, Sarkar Kavirul Islam, Seerajul Islam and Preeyabrat Roy. In the midst of this grand occasion, Mr. S. Sridhar also inaugurated Milan Mukherjees CSC - situated in front of the newly inaugurated Central Bank of India branch in Margram.

Srei Sahaj is mandated to set up 29,000 CSCs across rural India. Of this, 19,000 CSCs have already been rolled out. These CSCs are expected to give a boost to development by revolutionizing the state of lives in rural India through the provision of IT as well non-IT services. The CSCs are expected to substantially augment the reach of government services into remote areas of the country. Apart from being a delivery channel, the CSCs can be an effective change agent that would provide a structured platform for socially inclusive community participation and collective developmental activities. Such change is proposed to be undertaken through three important components.

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