Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said some 66 lakh people, including 24 lakh women, have benefited from the Mudra scheme that provides loans for setting up business.

"So far about 66 lakh people have benefited ... with Rs.42,000 crore spent. I am happy to announce that out of 66 lakh people, some 24 lakh are women," Modi said in his radio address Mann ki Baat.

He said that Dalits, tribals and people belonging to the OBC category make up for most beneficiaries.

"The scheme is trying to help small workers such as barbers, laundrymen, milkmen, newspaper vendor who run the economy," Modi said.

"It provides a boost to three Es - Enterprises, Earning and Empowerment. The scheme encourages enterprises, provides opportunity for earning, and in the truest sense empowers people. It is helping small entrepreneurs."