An MoU was signed, in the presence of Minister for Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad, between Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) and Common Service Centres (CSC) to support village level entrepreneurs that operate the latter as access points for delivery of electric services.
Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “Indians trust entrepreneurship and they are entrepreneurs by temperament. This MoU will promote entrepreneurship in CSCs further by supporting their expansion.”
The VLEs (village level entrepreneurs) that have been operating the CSCs for the last year or so and are looking to expand operations can now avail of financial support under the MoU – which is initially eyeing 50,000 VLEs.
There are as many as 2.91 lakh CSCs operational in the country today that are positioned as cornerstones of Digital India programme. Reportedly, by the end of 2018, CSCs are looking to reach 2.5 lakh gram panchayats from their current 1.8 lakh.
The MoU between SIDBI and Common Service Centres is also looking to enhance financial viability and by including additional offerings in their overall products that currently includes banking, pensions, digital literacy and telemedicine.
Under the direct financing window, CSC SPV will approve the list of VLEs with the requirement of financial support. In order to avail of the loan, VLEs are required to submit their CSC project with maximum project outlay of Rs. 3.50 lakh and term loan requirement of up to Rs 2 lakh per project.