PM Modi launches Rs 13,000-crore 'PM Vishwakarma' Yojanafor traditional workers

TNN Bureau. Updated: 9/18/2023 1:46:03 AM Front Page

Srinagar's tailor among beneficiaries; scheme will benefit thousands of artisans of J&K: LG

Jammu: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched the 'PM Vishwakarma' scheme on the occasion of 'Vishwakarma Jayanti', under which traditional craftsmen and artisans will be provided loan assistance at a minimal interest rate without the need for collateral.
With a financial outlay of Rs 13,000 crore for a period of five years, the scheme will benefit about 30 lakh families of traditional artisans and craftsmen, including weavers, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, laundry workers, and barbers.
The goal of the scheme is to enhance the accessibility and quality of products and services offered by traditional artisans and craftsmen.
The scheme offers collateral-free enterprise development loans of Rs 1 lakh (first tranche for 18 months repayment) and Rs 2 lakh (second tranche for 30 months repayment).
A concessional rate of interest of 5 per cent will be charged from the beneficiary with interest subvention cap of 8 per cent to be paid by the Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises. The credit guarantee fees will be borne by the central government.
The scheme also entails benefits such as recognition as a Vishwakarma through a certificate and ID card and skill verification followed by 5-7 days (40 hours) of basic training. Interested candidates can also enrol for 15 days (120 hours) of advanced training and a stipend of Rs 500 per day will be provided.
Besides, a Rs 15,000 grant will be provided as a toolkit incentive and an incentive for digital transaction of Rs 1 per transaction for up to 100 transactions monthly.
A National Committee for Marketing (NCM) will provide services such as Quality Certification, Branding & Promotion, E-commerce linkage, Trade Fairs advertising, publicity and other marketing activities.
An artisan or craftsperson working with hands and tools and engaged in one of the 18 family-based traditional trades mentioned in the scheme, in the unorganised sector on a self-employment basis, shall be eligible for registration under PM Vishwakarma.
The minimum age of the beneficiary should be 18 years on the date of registration.
Fayaz Ahmad Bhat, a tailor from Srinagar, is among the beneficiaries who received an identity card under the Vishwakarma scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the national capital on Sunday.
An expert in making traditional 'pheran', a cloak worn by Kashmiris to ward off the winter chill, Bhat has been working for the last 40 years. He is among the 30 lakh beneficiaries whom the government intends to target under the scheme over the next five years.
Besides getting recognition through a PM Vishwakarma certificate and an ID card, Bhat and other artisans and craftspeople will undergo skill upgradation involving basic and advanced training.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha attended the launch ceremony virtually at the Union Territory-level function organised here.
Sinha said the scheme will directly benefit thousands of artisans of Jammu and Kashmir working with their hands and tools.
"Our outstanding artisans with creativity and hard work have not only preserved the priceless heritage, diverse culture and traditions but also kept the wheels of socio-economic growth moving. These hardworking hands are the strength of the progressive society," Sinha said.
The PM Vishwakarma scheme honours the traditional skills of craftspeople and their exemplary commitment and dedication. It will ensure the Vishwakarmas are provided with financial assistance and skill upgradation and they are integrated with national and global value chains, he said.
Traditionally, Vishwakarmas are considered the drivers of growth. They are the personification of artistic power, lords of the arts, creators of diverse crafts and builders of enterprises, he said.
Unfortunately, a discriminatory system existed in Jammu and Kashmir for decades that has imprisoned the aspirations of communities engaged in traditional skills, he added.
Sinha said the administration -- under the guidance of the prime minister -- is working to empower poor, deprived sections of society.
"I am confident that the PM Vishwakarma scheme will bring revolutionary transformation in the lives of our Vishwakarmas," he said.
The Lt Governor highlighted the key initiatives taken by his administration for the socio-economic development of the families engaged in traditional skills and handicrafts and handloom sectors.
Handloom and handicrafts are emerging as two very important pillars of our economy. The government has recognised more than 29 other crafts and brought them under the ambit of handicrafts and handloom sector, he said.

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