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Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh

New Delhi: In line with UPA-I’s flagship programme, National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) could also prove a big hit for the Centre.

Newly inducted Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh has renamed the NRLM as ‘ajeevika’ in order to make it easier for the common man to get associated with the scheme.

Soon, other schemes running under the Rural Development Ministry will be renamed.

Jairam was speaking to reporters on Monday after the loan agreement with the World Bank for Rs 4, 600 crore was signed for National Rural Livelihood Mission.

He assured that during next decade, the number of women self help groups will be more than seven crores.

To promote self-employment among women, Jairam will request Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to provide 4 percent interest on loans which is equivalent to the crop loan given to farmers.

However, Mukherjee had allocated Rs 500 crore for women self help groups in the general budget.

“We need NABARD like institutions for self help groups for which IIM-Bangalore professor MS Sriram has prepared a document,” said Jairam.

Based on the detailed document, he will put forward his demand before the ministry.

JPN/Bureau

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