A survey by the Ministry of Labour and Employment conducted last year showed that only one in five beneficiaries of Mudra loans availed of the facility to start new businesses, The Indian Express reported. The rest used the funds to expand existing businesses.

The Prime Minister Mudra Loan Yojana, launched in April 2015, has been pitched as the government’s flagship job creation and entrepreneurship programme. It helps small businesses get credit of Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 lakh from private and public sector banks, micro-finance institutions and other lending institutions.

Citing the Draft Report on Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana Survey, the newspaper said that out of 94,375 beneficiaries surveyed, 19,396, or just 20.6%, used the loan to start new businesses. The report was dated March 27, 2019, and has not yet been made public.

The report said that a total of Rs 5.71 lakh crore was sanctioned in loans between April 2015 and December 2017 through 12.27 crore loan accounts. These loans created 1.12 crore additional jobs – a rate of one job for nearly 11 loans disbursed, and Rs 5.1 lakh loan given on average for every job created. The average ticket size of a loan was Rs 46,536 in the first 33 months of the scheme.

Of the 1.12 crore additional jobs created, 51.06 lakh were self-employed business owners, while 60.94 lakh were employees or hired workers, according to The Indian Express.

“Services and trading accounted for more than two thirds of the additional jobs,” the daily said. “Allied agriculture created 22.77 lakh more jobs [20.33% of the total]. Manufacturing could add only 13.10 lakh [11.7%].”

The daily added that the Ministry of Labour and Employment did not respond to detailed queries sent on the matter. The government had planned to use the survey to counter the claims of the National Sample Survey Organisation, which said earlier this year that unemployment stood at 6.1%, a 45-year high.

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