NMDFC: Minority-only bank has helped 21 lakh people with soft loans

Story by  Saquib Salim | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 20-03-2023
NMDFC officials attending a seminar
NMDFC officials attending a seminar


Saquib Salim/New Delhi

It may sound unbelievable, but the Government of India owns a company that provides microfinance, term loans, education loans, etc. to people belonging to religious minorities. So far more than 20 lakh people have availed of loans valued at Rs 7414 Crore from it.

Expectedly, Muslims are the major beneficieries of its schemes. Till the year 2021, 83 percent loans have gone to the community.

The lesser-known National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC), set up in 1994, is a national financial institution offering concessional finance to the members of minority communities for self-employment and income generation.

NMDFC runs several schemes for religious minorities - Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, and Jains. Its schemes are implemented through the State Channelising Agencies (SCAs) nominated by the State Government and the union territories administration.

The organization offers credit based on the income of the applicant.

One credit line is meant for persons with an annual family income of up to Rs. 98,000 in rural areas and Rs.1.20 lakh in urban areas.

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The second one benefits persons with an annual family income of up to Rs. 8 lahks.

The Term Loan Scheme of NMDFC helps viable income-generation ventures. Under this a loan ranging from Rs. 20 lakhs to 30 lakhs is extended at the interest rate of 6% to 8% per annum.

The Education Loan Scheme is targeted at students from economically backward families who are pursuing job-oriented technical and professional courses.

Under this, students can avail of loans up to Rs. 20 lacs for pursuing courses in India and Rs. 30 lacs for going abroad. Again for the lower income group, the interest is 3% and for others, it’s 8% per annum.

The Micro Finance Scheme of the NMDFC provides loans to the women of minority communities who are members of the Self Help Groups (SHGs). The beneficiaries are mostly in remote villages and urban slums as most of them are unable to avail of bank loans.

The Virasat scheme of NMDFC helps the artisans from minority communities to raise working capital and fixed capital for the purchase of equipment, raw materials, and other wherewithal. They can get a maximum loan of up to Rs.10 lakhs.

Again, women beneficiaries, get further concessions in all the schemes.

In its 26 years, the NMDFC has given loans to 20,46,174 people and the total amount of loans is a staggering Rs 7414.85 Crore.

During the Covid pandemic, some 3 lakh people availed of the easy loans to the tune of 1350 crore from the NMDFC.

Invariably, the beneficiaries of the NMDFC have ended up joining the mainstream economy.

Sahil Khan, who is working as Nursing Officer at AIIMS, Kalyani, West Bengal says he is in this position today because of the education loan he took from the NMDFC.

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Nahid Heena, a physically challenged single parent says she could launch her beauty salon in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh with a loan from NMDFC.

The NMDFC has more than 20 lakh such stories of empowerment to tell to the world.