Has the state government put the ‘Pavala Vaddi’ scheme on the back-burner?
For all intents and purposes, this may be true, despite the government having expressed its satisfaction that the state’s financial position was better than expected, especially considering the fact that the Exchequer had suffered losses in the wake of Telangana agitation and its aftermath.
The Pavala Vaddi scheme envisaged loans at 3 per cent and was unveiled with much fanfare.
The then Finance Minister, who is now the Chief Minister, allocated Rs 200 crore as interest subsidy for SHGs members scheme. He also accorded top priority to empower the poor, providing easy access to bank credit through the Pavala Vaddi under Indira Kranthi Patham.
The scheme was intended to turn the poor members of DWACRA and SHGs into lakhpatis.
Where do they stand today? In the recent past, Rural Development Minister Vatti Vasantha Kumar emphatically said that it was world's maiden scheme, leave alone the sub-continent.
But going by its own standards, the much promised loan swapping programme was also said to be under wraps.
The autonomous bankers were in no mood to charge at 3 percent, less than as stipulated in their norms for any advances. The bankers did not succumb to the pressure mounted on them by the government to lower the interest rates because their working is autonomous.
Earlier, the government also issued a GO directing the heads of the departments not to spend funds for any new schemes which meant that their (Department heads) hands were tied up. The GO put them in a consternation, according to the government order.
After a week, the chairman of government programme, holding a Cabinet rank, was asked to spell out on 'Pavala Vaddi' and its implementation in order to energise the economy of the poor (MFIs borrowers) in the rural areas. He minced words and gave no specific reply which gave an impression that there was no steam in the much publicised scheme.
According to an official source, the government has no funds even to meet the regular programmes. Endowments Minister Gade Venkat Reddy also made it crystal clear the other day that Treasury could hardly give a 'paisa' to meet the demands of archakas and other staff of the big and small temples at the height of their agitation. These temple staff are presently on a strike and have stopped attending to their duties.
Now what does the government do to keep its 'pet' programme alive? Not much, a source says. For all intents and purposes, the scheme has been shelved, for sheer pressure on the dispensation.