Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman chaired the review of the performance of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) on Credit and other Welfare Schemes for Scheduled Castes with CMDs of the PSBs, here today. The review meeting was also attended by Shri Vijay Sampla, Chairman, National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSCs); and Members NCSCs, Shri Subhash Ramnath Pardhi and Dr Anju Bala; Union Minister of State for Finance Dr Bhagwat Kisanrao Karad; and Shri Sanjay Malhotra, Secretary, Department of Financial Services (DFS), along with senior officials of the DFS and NCSC.
Smt. Sitharaman reviewed the various measures taken by PSBs in giving credit to persons belonging to the Scheduled Caste community and their welfare in terms of reservation, backlog vacancies, functioning of welfare and grievances redressal mechanism etc.
During the review meeting, the Finance Minister made the following observations:
• Banks to fill the small number of remaining backlog vacancies in a time bound manner.
• Forward and backward linkages through convergence of various schemes of different Government departments for SCs while giving them financial assistance
• Banks to enhance the coverage of SCs in all schemes and advised PSBs heads to also look into their needs for capacity building, entrepreneurship development as SCs constitute about 18% of the total workforce of the banks and FIs,.
• Banks to make proper digital records for jobs being outsourced, especially for posts like Safai Karamcharis from 1st October.
• Redressal of all pending grievances pertaining to SC community may also be taken up in the special drive by DFS from 2nd October.
• Improvements required to be carried out in all the schemes like CEGSSC, VCF etc may be taken up by DFS after discussion with agencies like Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI) that are working with scheduled castes at the grassroot level.
The Finance Minister also desired that the PSBs apprise the NCSC twice every year – first through an interaction anytime from 14th April (Birthday of Babasaheb Ambedkar) to 30th April and second by sharing information in October – regarding the progress made in recruitment and credit to Scheduled Castes.
The Finance Minister said that the objective of the meeting was to bring all stakeholders on a common platform to work together in fulfilment of the rights enshrined in the Constitution for the upliftment and betterment of the people from the Scheduled Castes. Smt. Sitharaman also observed that performance in schemes like National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) where 21% of the credit linked Self-Help Groups (SHGs) were SCs and in SVANIDHI, 19% of the beneficiaries are SCs, is satisfactory.
In his address, NCSC Chairman Shri Vijay Sampla urged the bankers to give all the due bank credits to the SCs. He mentioned that the Government has initiated a number of Schemes for the benefit of SCs. The bankers should ensure that the benefits of schemes such as National Livelihood Mission, Credit Enhancement Guarantee Scheme for Scheduled Castes, Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes, Self-Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers etc. should reach to the targeted population.