New Delhi, July 16 : Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Mahabir Prasad today said that the Government is proposing to provide Rs.84 crore as assistance for 200 institutions for replacement of Charkhas and looms and for making the Khadi industry more competitive and profitable.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the third meeting of the National Khadi and Village Industries Board (NKVIB) here, Prasad said his ministry is planning to include 45 institutions managed by persons belonging to SC/STs under this scheme with a view to promote inclusive growth.
This scheme will make the Khadi Industry more market driven and provide higher wages to artisans, he added.
"For Khadi artisans, the Government had introduced a pilot scheme of 'Workshed for Khadi artisans' under which worksheds would be provided to 38,000 Khadi artisans, at a maximum cost of Rs.25,000 per unit," he said.
Through this scheme, he said that the Government is hopeful of providing the spinners in particular, a better working environment, which will improve their productivity and income.
Spelling out the Government's steps to make the Khadi sector more competitive in this era of globalization, Prasad said that his ministry has recognized the need for modern marketing strategies in the sector and is formulating a new scheme on marketing development assistance to Khadi institutions.
"The new scheme is expected to provide assistance towards renovation, computerization, marketing infrastructure, quality improvement of products and better packaging of Khadi products," he said.
Prasad said his Ministry is planning to strengthen the Rural Employment Generation Programme by bringing in wide spread improvement in the scheme.
He further added that he would request banks particularly those operating in the far flung areas to cooperate in the implementation of Khadi schemes, which are related to increase in employment opportunities.
The day-long meeting discussed among other things agenda items relating to improving the marketability of Khadi Village Industry products, role of science and technology in the changing market scenario, streamlining of Khadi sector, export performance of KVICs and pereformance of various schemes in NER.