SAARC Development Fund Current Affairs
SAARC Development Fund (SDF) is going to launch social enterprise development programme (SEDP) as part of its social window. The programme will be implemented in all SAARC member states with objective of identifying and building social enterprises by using mix of grants and concessional returnable capital. It intends to fund around 80 enterprises across the 8 SAARC member states (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) annually.
SAARC Development Fund (SDF)
SDF was established by heads of all eight SAARC member states during 16th SAARC summit at Thimphu, Bhutan in April 2010. Its Governing Council comprises finance ministers of these eight countries. It is successor of South Asian Development Fund (SADF), which was launched in 1996 by merging two existing facilities called SAARC Fund for Regional Projects (SFRP) and SAARC Regional Fund. SDF’s Secretariat is located at Thimphu, capital of Bhutan
SDF was created as umbrella financial mechanism for all SAARC developmental projects and programmes. Its core objectives are to promote welfare of the people of SAARC region, improve their quality of life and accelerate economic growth, social progress and poverty alleviation in the region. It funds projects in South Asia region via three windows viz. Social Window, Economic Window and Infrastructure Window. At present, only Social Window is in operation, the other two windows are yet to open.
The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has inked MoU with SAARC Development Fund (SDF) for mutual cooperation and collaboration.
The MoU was signed by SIDBI Deputy Managing Director A K Kapur and SDF CEO Sunil Motiwal.
- SDF and SIDBI to work together in co-funding of projects in Indian MSMEs on risk sharing basis in identified sectors.
- Development of suitable financial products for SME financing for MSMEs of other Saarc states, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
- Technology transfer and making available software to MFIs regarding loan tracking systems in other SAARC states.
- Capacity development of SDF, SIDBI and SME funding institutions in SAARC countries.
SIDBI: It is an independent financial institution aimed to aid the growth and development of micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs).