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North East India - NEDFi launched development scheme to encourage women entrepreneurs
North East India gets major boost
By A Bezbaruah
Women have always played an important role in socio economic development of the society since ancient times. In the North East, they enjoy a special status in the society because of their entrepreneurial desire & ability, hard working nature and matrilineal society in some areas of the region.

Moreover, women of the region enjoy a comparatively higher status in society because of the liberal social outlook of the region. They contribute significantly to the development of the society.

NEDFi, as a financial institution has been working for the economic uplift of the women in the region by providing them training and financial assistance under Micro Finance Scheme (MF), North East Equity Fund Scheme (NEEFS), Scheme for North East Handloom and Handicrafts (SNEHH), Jute Enterprises Development Scheme (JEDS) etc. The institution has so far invested Rs. 6 billion in various projects in the eight northeastern states.

This time around the NEDFi has launched a development scheme to encourage women entrepreneurs in the region.

They have decided to launch the scheme as the recovery rate of loans from women as well as performance of women entrepreneurs are much better than their male counterparts in the region.

The success rate and number of women entrepreneurs are higher in Tripura and Mizoram where 64 and 60 women respectively were assisted in various projects.

Women entrepreneurs mostly concentrate in small and medium scale units like handloom and handicraft, petty trades, poultry, dairy, piggery and tailoring.

A sum of Rs. 40 million has so far been disbursed for 350 schemes and projects launched by women entrepreneurs in the region. The NEDFI, which was set up in 1995 with an authorised capital of Rs. 5 billion, has a target to loan Rs. 2.20 billion during the current fiscal.

NEDFi will also help the Tripura Government promote various projects, including use of abandoned tea estates, to boost tea tourism or floriculture in the state. Tea tourism could be developed in the state as a concerted tourism package.

The experiment was carried out successfully by the Tata group in some of their abandoned tea gardens in Dibrugarh, Asom, which yielded huge benefits. This can be carried out in Tripura too.

Not only that, NEDFi have also prepared a detailed project report for the revival of the North East Regional Agricultural Marketing Cooperative (NERAMC) situated at Nalkata in North Tripura District.