The Jammu and Kashmir Bank has been playing significant role for the upliftment of poor, to raise the living standard of masses and also to mitigate their socio-economic conditions to achieve balanced economic growth with social justice in the state of Jammu and Kashmir via its micro finance services. The study was conducted among the customers of Jammu and Kashmir Bank in Anantnag District to analyze the policy, practices, and role of microfinance provided by Jammu and Kashmir Bank in terms of how well it achieved its own goals: to reach the poorest populations, to ensure a positive measurable impact on the lives of clients and their families, to build financially self-sufficient institutions, and to reach and empower women vis a vis the future challenges and suggest the likely improvements.
Keywords: Micro Finance, Micro Credit, Poverty Eradication, Unemployment, Standard of Living.
Micro-finance focuses on to help poorest families with very small loans (Micro-credit) either to engage them in productive activities or grow their tiny businesses. With the passage of time it has been realized that the poor and very poor who lack access to traditional formal financial institutions require a verity of financial products.
Poverty is an age old and worldwide phenomenon. It affects the quality of life of the people in the society in one form or other. J&K is having a huge percentage of population living below poverty line. The unemployment / underemployment, underdeveloped agricultural and horticultural sectors, unbalanced development with huge regional imbalances, illiteracy, shortage of capital, lack of entrepreneurships etc are some of the major causes of poverty in the J&K state.
Relief and subsidies cannot eradicate poverty. It needs to be removed through creation of productive employment opportunities, development of basic infrastructure and other social conditions. Productive employment generates growth, creates assets and thus improves the economic condition of the poor who can get engaged in such pursuit. At the same time, growth through productive employment creates a multiplier effect for bringing about a change in the economic scene.
In the backdrop, the J&K Bank has been playing significant role for the upliftment of poor and to raise the living standard of masses and ameliorate their socio-economic conditions to achieve balanced economic growth with social justice in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The bank has reached to those people who have certain entitlements in the form of productive assets, education and skills; the possession of otherwise can generate incomes to by the food requirements above the subsistence level. Since poverty originates in the villages the bank took various initiatives to continue it. A number of bank's poverty eradication programme are rural centric. Under the programme the bank undertakes various initiatives to raise the standard of people and elevate poverty. The program covers area of agriculture, horticulture, village & cottage industries, Handicraft(Shawls, carpets), tourism and other allied industry on one hand promotion of health, sanitation, education and others.
The Micro-finance is being regarded as the dignified way of crossing the poverty line by the weakest section of the society. This anti-poverty tool has been tested in many parts of the world.
The J&K Bank has been organizing micro finance awareness camp throughout the state and created awareness about various credit products which are given as under:
* Kissan Credit Cards
* Self Help Groups
* Crop Loans
* Village Industries and
* Self-employment Schemes
* HandicraftTerm Loans.
In order to generate employment avenues for the masses, the bank substantially contributes to the six major government sponsored schemes these are:
* Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY)
* Prime Minister Rozgar Yojna (PMRY)
* J&K Self-employment schemes (SJSRY)
* The Scheme for Schedule Caste/Schedule Tribe and other backward classes (SSC/SST)
* Khadi and Village Industry (KVIB)
The bank has played a major role in providing employment through financing of the projects under these schemes. …