DHARAMSHALA: Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay today announced the launch of a 10-Crore loan scheme for Tibetan sweater sellers at a press conference held at DIIR’s Lhakpa Tsering memorial hall. The scheme is being initiated under the banner ‘Tibetan Hosiery Traders Loan- 2017’ by Department of Finance, Central Tibetan Administration.
Addressing the press conference, Sikyong said that the pilot loan scheme is aimed at providing relief to the seasonal Tibetan hosiery and sweater traders, who make up about 45% of the Tibetans living in India.
“Many of these traders are either under or unbanked, do not have much capital of their own and are borrowing from unorganised sectors at a high cost. Therefore, this scheme is announced to minimise their financial constraints in carrying out their seasonal trades,” he said.
The 10-Crore rupees would be broken into 1 Lakh each and distributed to approximately 1000 Tibetan sweater sellers. The loans are allotted for a six-month duration with a relatively low interest rate of 3%. The borrowers are encouraged to repay the loans within the six months, failing which the interest rates are slated to increase dramatically.
The respective Tibetan settlement officers and regional sweater sellers associations and individual sellers shall play a key role in the disbursement and repayment process, according to a press release issued by the department. However, the Social and Resource Development (SARD) of the Department of Finance, CTA will be the institutional agent to manage the project.
The loan scheme has been decided following a detailed market research, expert consultations and need analysis of Tibetan sweater sellers.
The 10-crore loan scheme is primarily funded by USAID, which has contributed 800 Lakhs while the remaining 200 Lakhs were raised by the finance department itself.