Ludhiana: The Tibetan Political Leader Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay yesterday graced the ‘First Special Conference of All India Tibetan Refugee Trader’s Association’ held in Ludhiana, in the Indian state of Punjab. Sikyong launched the 100-million loan scheme for Tibetan sweater sellers.
On April 6, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay along with Kalon for Department of Finance announced the ‘Tibetan Hosiery Traders Loan- 2017.’
Sikyong said the pilot loan scheme is aimed at providing relief to the seasonal Tibetan hosiery and sweater traders, who make up about 45% of the Tibetans living in India and is targeted at small scale sweater sellers needing financial assistance. Sikyong further elaborated: the 100 million loan would be disbursed to 100 sweater associations for a fixed period of six-months with a relatively low interest rate of 3% and failure to return the loan would engender the incurring of a much higher interest rate.
Speaking at the conference Sikyong further explained that the socio-economic empowerment initiatives of CTA fit under the framework of Kashang’s five-fifty vision that foresees strengthening and sustaining Central Tibetan Administration and achieving a self-reliant exile Tibetan community.
Other CTA dignitaries at the conference include Kalon for Department of Finance Karma Yeshi, Planning Commissioner Dr Konchuk Tsundue and SARD Director / Chief Resilience Officer Kaydor Aukatsang.
The executive body of Lala Tibetan Hosiery Association, the executive head of National Sweater Association and over 300 Tibetan sweater sellers representing 164 Sweater Association converged in Ludhiana for the conference. The National Sweater Association currently consists of 164 recognised Sweater Associations under its umbrella.
The 100 million loan scheme is primarily funded by USAID, which contributed 800 Lakhs while the remaining 200 Lakhs were raised by the Department of Finance.