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Support to Self-Employment Schemes: MSME

  • 18 Sep 2020
  • 5 min read

Why in News

The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has announced expansion of and doubling of support to beneficiary oriented Self-Employment schemes aimed at contributing to Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.

Key Points

  • The government will provide assistance to artisans engaged in Pottery Activity and Beekeeping Activity.
  • Previously, the Ministry of MSME approved a programme for the benefit of artisans involved in manufacturing of Agarbatti under the Gramodyog Vikas Yojana.
  • Pottery Activity:
    • The assistance includes technical knowhow, quality standardization of products, skill-development to Self Help Groups (SHGs), encouragement to the successful traditional potter to set up units under Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) scheme, necessary market linkages by tying up with exports and large buying houses etc.
      • PMEGP is a credit-linked subsidy scheme which promotes self-employment through setting up of micro-enterprises.
    • It also includes setting up of clusters in Terracotta, Red clay pottery, with new innovative value added products to build pottery to crockery/tile making capabilities under the SFURTI scheme.
      • The Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) aims to make traditional industries more productive and competitive by organizing the traditional industries and artisans into clusters.

Terracotta

  • Beekeeping Activity:
    • It aims to create sustainable employment for the beekeepers/farmers, help artisans adopt scientific Beekeeping & Management practices, utilize available natural resources; and create awareness about the benefits of beekeeping in cross pollination.
    • It involves distributing tools and equipment to migrant labourers in the Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan (PMGKRA) districts and providing training to the beneficiaries, setting up clusters under the SFURTI Scheme.
      • PMGKRA empowers and provides livelihood opportunities to the returnee migrant workers and rural citizens who have returned to their home states due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown.
    • Recently, the Ministry of MSME flagged off ‘Apiary on Wheels’.
      • ‘Apiary on Wheels’ is a unique concept designed by the KVIC for the easy upkeep and migration of Bee Boxes having live Bee colonies.
    • A Beekeeping Development Committee was also constituted in 2019 under the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) to give recommendations to enhance the contribution of the beekeeping sector for achieving the target of doubling farmers’ incomes by 2022.
    • KVIC also launched a Honey Mission in 2017 under which it provides awareness, training and ‘Bee Boxes’ along with Bee Colonies to the farmers.
      • The Honey mission was in line with the ‘Sweet Revolution’, launched in 2016 to promote beekeeping and associated activities.
  • Benefit:
    • The program will immediately benefit about 1500 artisans, in providing sustainable employment with increased earnings.
    • Artisans living in rural areas, Self Help Groups and Migrant workers will particularly benefit from the program.
    • In addition to enhancing employment opportunities locally, the programme will also help in capturing the export market in such products.

Way Forward

  • The MSME sector has been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, especially the rural enterprise owners. In addition to these self-employment schemes, the government can provide tax relief (GST and corporate tax), give swift refunds, and provide liquidity to rural India (may be through PM-Kisan) to boost demand for MSME products.

Source: PIB

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