Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) is a self-employment programme of the Ministry of Rural Development aimed at providing assistance to rural BPL households for establishing micro-enterprises through bank credit and government subsidy to acquire income generating assets. The scheme aims to provide them a sustainable income source and bring them out of poverty.
Under the SGSY scheme, the poor BPL families are mobilized into effective Self-Help Groups (SHGs), after which assistance is given to them by building their capacities and skills, providing better access to bank credit and government subsidy, infrastructure and technology support including marketing services.
The SGSY is implemented by the District Rural Development Agencies (DRDAs) through the Panchayati Samitis with support from Panchayati Raj institutions, banks, the line departments and the NGOs.
SGSY focuses on vulnerable, weaker and poor sections of society. Accordingly, 50% of those assisted will be from SC/ST category; women will constitute 50% and 3% will be reserved for differently abled persons. Generally, all members should belong to the BPL households. However, if necessary, a maximum of 30% members in a group can be selected from families which are marginally above the poverty line.
SGSY emphasizes the cluster approach for taking up activities and as such about 10 key economic activities are identified for each block based on available resources, occupational aptitude and skills of people and market potential. Out of these 10 activities, focus is placed on 4 to 5 key economic activities for development of micro-enterprises.
Financial assistance to SGSY beneficiaries is given in the form of bank loans and government subsidy. Loans are given by commercial banks, cooperative banks and regional rural banks. The loan amount would be equal to the total project costs including the amount of subsidy admissible to SGSY beneficiaries.
A beneficiary gets 30% government subsidy of the total project cost, subject to a maximum of Rs 7,500. In respect of SC/ST beneficiaries, subsidy will be 50% or Rs 10,000 respectively. For groups (SHGs), subsidy provided is 50% of the total project cost subject to per capita subsidy of Rs 10,000 or Rs 1.25 lakhs, whichever is less. Subsidy for irrigation projects will have no monetary limit.
The scheme lays emphasis on skill development through well defined training courses with its design, duration and curriculum tailored to meet the needs of the identified economic activities. 10 % of the central financial allocation has been earmarked for training of SHG members and Training of Trainers (TOT) functionaries.
The marketing assistance for goods produced by SHGs/Swarozgaris will involve provision of marketing intelligence, development of markets, consultancy services and institutional arrangements for marketing of the goods including their exports. The Ministry of Rural Development organizes regular SARAS fairs and melas for display and sale of products made by SHGs/Swarozgaris. Linkages are also created with eminent institutions in improving the quality of products, branding and packaging.
20% (25% in case of NE states) of the total SGSY funds for each district have been allocated for development of infrastructure for micro-enterprises. Proper infrastructure is essential which may be required for production, quality testing, storage, design development, value addition, diversification of products and successful marketing.