Union Minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday said 150 million women from across the country have gained access to collateral-free loans under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana. The minister for women and child development and textiles also highlighted that employment opportunities have been generated for over six lakh women in the personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturing segment, which has witnessed the emergence of more than 1,100 companies since April.
The Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) is a scheme launched by the prime minister on April 8, 2015, for providing loans of up to Rs 10 lakh to the non-corporate, non-farm small and micro enterprises.
Addressing a webinar organised by Ficci, Irani shared that the government through women helplines has managed to rescue and provide support to over 50 lakh women in the past one year. During the pandemic, she said the Centre in collaboration with state governments provided relief, rescue and rehabilitation to over 90,000 women.
"We are strengthening our judicial processes to help women in need and that is why we are setting up 1,023 fast track courts across the country to ensure speedy justice to women in need of protection of law," Irani said. The minister further said "150 million Indian women had access to collateral-free lending under the Mudra Yojana". Pointing out that India did not produce a single PPE coverall till the month of April, Irani said between April to this day, the country has seen the emergence of over 1,100 companies specific to the manufacturing of PPE coveralls.
"Today the expected annual turnaround for these companies is close to an estimated one billion dollars and as we speak today we celebrate the employment prospects that have been generated for over 6 lakh Indian women only in the segment of PPE manufacturing," said the minister. She also said the focus should now be towards creating a calibrated and systemic strategy of engagement with neighbours to create successful partnerships and value chains.