A recent press release from the Government of India reports on a rural entrepreneurship and skills develop program being conducted by NABARD. Intended to create income opportunities for the rural poor, more than 20,000 trainings have been conducted so far for over 500,000 people. In addition, the Government of India has set up two new financial inclusion funds to promote financial inclusion interventions and technology adoption.

Rural Entrepreneurship Development Programme (REDP) and Skill Development Programme are important programmes supported by NABARD for creating sustainable employment and income opportunities in a cost effective manner for the benefit of unemployed persons in rural areas. As on 31st March, 2012, 21406 programmes have been organized and Rs. 96.31 crore has been released by NABARD for training to 5.08 lakh persons.

The Government of India has constituted two funds viz., Financial Inclusion Fund (FIF) for meeting the cost of developmental and promotional interventions of financial inclusion and Financial Inclusion Technology Fund (FITF) to meet the cost of technology adoption. The objective of the Financial Inclusion Fund (FIF) is to support “Developmental and promotional activities” with a view to securing greater financial inclusion, particularly among weaker sections, low income groups in backward regions/ hitherto unbanked areas.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Finance, Shri Namo Narain Meena in written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.