The UP government provides interest-free loans to women’s self-help groups (SHGs) in rural areas to purchase four- and three-wheeled vehicles to create jobs under the Aajeevika Grameen Express Yojana (AGEY). “The task is to provide 400 vehicles – cargo / passenger, mini-four-wheeled and electronic rickshaws. SHGs across the state have already purchased 265 vehicles under this scheme, ”said Bhanu Chandra Goswami, managing director of the Uttar Pradesh Rural Livelihood Mission (UPSRLM).
Many SHGs use these vehicles to make money transporting food as part of a government food mission.
A government spokesman said UPSRLM has been awarded a gold medal for this scheme. So far almost ₹Rs 18 crore was donated to members of selected SHGs under the auspices of AGEY. According to the scheme maximum ₹6.5 lakhs without any interest can be granted for a four-wheeled vehicle and maximum ₹1.5 lakhs per electronic rickshaw.
The beneficiary must repay the loan amount in 72 installments over six years, and she must drive the vehicle herself or hire a driver.
The scheme is extended to another SHG member as soon as the beneficiary returns the loan amount.
To be eligible for the scheme, the team member must have been associated with the mission for at least two years and have used other primary assets of the mission.
Goswami said the scheme has been implemented in 73 blocks of 34 districts in the state, and this year, cars will be distributed in 120 blocks from 50 districts.
“Rural areas benefit from AGEY in different ways. It provides employment for SHG women. It also increases the average income by at least ₹8000 per month. Moreover, according to the plan, those routes and tasks are selected where there is a need for such equipment. So it provides mobility. The loans are for at least eight-seater vehicles such as Winger, Bolero, Tata Magic, Omni, etc., ”he said.