Thursday, February 11, 2016
The Indian Government has said that it has asked banks and micro-finance institutions to enhance their credit disbursal for sanitation to achieve the goal of Swachh Bharat Mission of making India free from open defecation by 2019. Commenting on the issue, Rural Development and Drinking Water and Sanitation Minister Birender Singh told the media, “The Finance Ministry has included water and sanitation as new fields for priority sector lending by commercial banks but this "monumental policy change must translate from intent to action". “There is incentive of Rs 12,000 for construction of a toilet for BPL families but to achieve universal coverage, there is need for easy financing by banks and other financial institutions,” he added. The Minister further added that that since the launch of the mission on October 2, 2014, more than 14.7 million toilets had been constructed in rural areas. The Minister further urged the banks and micro-finance institutions to extend credit for sanitation and water sectors.