Govt plans to reduce poverty to 16% by 2015

Dwellers in rural and urban areas have to take out loans with big interest for their business and they are still living in the cycle of poverty, President Thein Sein addressed at a ceremony on “Rural Development and Socio-economic Improvement” held in Mandalay yesterday.The government is trying to reduce the poverty from 26 per cent to 16 per cent by 2015, President said.

The ceremony was organized for the microfinance activity of the Ministry of Cooperatives to lend K5.5 billion for rural and urban grassroots and to sell them farm equipments worth K364 million on installments.

Eight-point rural development and poverty alleviation scheme has been in operation to bridge the development gap between urban and rural areas in undertaking the national development endeavors and the need to promote cooperative societies as the effective contributor to national economic growth, President added.

The microfinance work undertook by Ministry of Cooperatives is not only intended for welfare of people for immediate future but also helping them to stand on their own without needing to take out loans for certain periods of time. The ministry needed over 1,000 billion K to implement the plan and the government planned to open microfinance bank and obtain loans, aids and grants services from overseas, he addressed.

The ministry will lend 100,000 K per family and if they repay the loan in full when the time is due, the ministry will give out 500,000 K per family. People will be charged the service fee at 2.5 K for 100,000 K, Kyaw San, Union Minister for Cooperatives said.

The ministry lent over 55 billion K for 1770 cooperative societies in Mandalay region in the ceremony.