At a function held at the Taj Hotel, Mumbai, on 6 June, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) handed over a cheque for Rs 10 crore to the Dalit Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries (DICCI) towards its venture capital fund. In a momentous development, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram promised all help to the Dalit industrialists by registering the country’s first social impact fund with SEBI.
Speaking at the function, DICCI mentor Chandrabhan Prasad demanded the government ensure that every branch of every bank in the country extend credit facilities to at least one Dalit entrepreneur every year. Chidambaram described the demand as “positive” and assured that it would be considered. Chidambaram said that besides banks, other PSUs, including LIC, should invest through DICCI. He said that the country’s first Dalit venture capital fund will promote equality in our society. Entrepreneurship, he opined, was the key to leading a dignified life. Terming the launching of the Dalit Venture Capital Fund as an historic occasion, DICCI chairperson Milind Kamble said that the fund was an initiative of DICCI and that, through it, DICCI would try to secure Rs 500 crores from SIDBI for a period of ten years. The money will come in handy for Dalit entrepreneurs for expanding their business.
Talking to FORWARD Press, N.K. Chandan, who heads the Delhi chapter of DICCI, said, “We are trying to promote Dalit entrepreneurs by bringing them on a common platform. It is encouraging that besides government, we are also getting the co-operation of big industrial houses.”
Published in the July 2013 issue of the Forward Press magazine