Panchayat Level Federation

Government of Tamil Nadu have formed about 4.41 lakhs Self Help Groups under Mahalir Thittam implemented through TNCDW over a period of 20 years. The success achieved in the project has prompted the State Government to further strengthen the movement and make it sustainable by forming federations of SHGs at Village Panchayat, Block and District level. PLFs have been formed in all the 12618 Village Panchayats in the State.

The Panchayat Level Federation provides a common platform for the SHGs to share their experiences and to voice their problems. The PLF can help achieve what individual SHGs cannot, by pooling in their talents and resources and exploiting economies of scale both in production and marketing. They can also guide and monitor the functioning of SHGs in a Village Panchayat and also form and train new SHGs. Strengthening PLFs is the key to achieving sustainability of the SHG movement in the long run.

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Since 2006-07, the Government have taken various initiatives such as providing seed money, instituting Manimegalai awards to best PLFs and capacity building of office bearers of PLFs . The Government ordered restructuring of PLFs with the objective of making them more inclusive, transparent and participatory and also to improve their governance and sustainability vide G.O.Ms.No:125 Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (CGS-3) Department, dated 21.7.2008.

In addition, the Government initiated the following steps to further strengthen the PLFs :

Providing seed money, instituting Manimegalai Awards to best PLFs and capacity building of office bearers of PLFs. The Government ordered restructuring of PLFs with the objective of making them more inclusive, transparent and participatory and also to improve their governance and sustainability vide G.O.Ms.No:125 Rural Development and Panchayat Raj(CGS-3) Department, dated 21.7.2008.

In order to accord legal status to the PLFs and facilitate them to access Bank Credit the Government have ordered to register all PLFs under Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975. The Government have also vide G.O.Ms.No:111 Commercial Taxes and Registration (M1) Department, dated 17.11.2008 exempted the PLFs from the purview of Section 25 and 42 of Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act 1975. This exemption has provided an institutional framework for PLFs to take up income generation activities and benefit from them.

A detailed action Plan has been drawn up to restructure all the PLFs in the State in three years in a qualitative manner. So far 1,407 PLFs have been restructured under Mahalir Thittam in the State. During 2010-11 a total of 3,780 PLFs would be restructured and further strengthened by providing capacity building to the office bearers and members of both PLF and HLF on Governance and Finance Management modules. Also, TNCDW will undertake further capacity building of the PLF members and office bearers,on areas like Social Audit, Identification of Business Opportunities etc.

On completion of six months from restructuring the PLFs are graded based on indicators covering participation, inclusion, governance, transparency,credit discipline and community development initiatives.

Action plan         Training

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