PM Modi launches Rs 13,000 crore scheme for artisans | India News

PM Modi launches Rs 13,000 crore scheme for artisans | India News

NEW DELHI: Narendra Modi followed through on his August 15 speech and launched the ‘PM Vishwakarma Scheme’, a central plan with an outlay of Rs 13,000 crore, on Sunday.
He said it was high time that ‘Vishwakarmas’ (community of artisans and craftspeople) were recognised and supported, and his government had come forward as a partner to elevate their respect, enhance their capabilities and make them prosperous. “Modi stands for those who have nobody to care for them,” the PM said, noting that he was here to serve, give a life of dignity and make sure that delivery of services happened without fail. “This is Modi’s guarantee,” he emphasised.
The PM’s remarks came at an event in Dwarka here to inaugurate the first phase of India’s largest convention and exhibition centre, named Yashobhoomi, on the occasion of Vishwakarma Jayanti.
Referring to the key points of the scheme, Modi said “Vishwakarma friends” would get up to Rs 3 lakh of loan “without being asked for any collateral” with very low interest. He said banks would not ask for any guarantee as they had “Modi’s guarantee”.
“Our Vishwakarma colleagues are the pride of ‘Make in India’ and this International Convention Centre will become a medium to showcase this pride to the world,” Modi said.
The Vishwakarma scheme is aimed at benefiting artisans overwhelmingly drawn from among socially backward communities. Political circles have seen this as an attempt to forge the myriad artisan castes engaged in 18 different traditional occupations — carpentry, pottery and the like — into an important political constituency. On their own, these castes lack the numbers, resources and clout to make a big difference but collectively, they can potentially have important weightage.
Underlining that ‘Vishwakarmas’ would always remain significant in society, no matter the advancements made in technology, Modi acknowledged the contribution of the ‘shramiks’ (labourers) and artisans in the construction of the “magnificent” convention centre and said he dedicates ‘Yashobhoomi’ to “every worker of the country, to every Vishwakarma”.
Under the scheme, artisans and craftspeople will be registered free of charge through Common Services Centres (CSC) using the biometric-based portal. They will be provided recognition through PM Vishwakarma certificate and ID card, skill upgrade involving basic and advanced training, toolkit incentive of Rs 15,000, collateral-free credit support of Rs 3 lakh — up to Rs 1 lakh (first tranche) and Rs 2 lakh (second tranche) — at a concessional interest rate of 5%, incentive for digital transactions and marketing support.
Noting that “training, technology and tools” were critical for “Vishwakarma brothers and sisters” in the changing times, the PM spoke about training provisions under the scheme and asked the artisans to purchase their toolkits “only from GST registered shops” and said these tools must be “made in India”.
Pitching for the use of local products in a big way, he said “vocal for local” was the responsibility of the entire country. “First we have to be vocal for local and then we will have to take the local global,” he said while appealing to people not just to limit their love for local products to only buying ‘diyas’ (earthen lamps) during festivals but broaden their choice to other local and traditional products made by artisans and craftspeople.
The PM also launched the scheme’s logo, tagline and portal and released a customised stamp sheet, a toolkit e-booklet and video. Besides, he distributed Vishwakarma certificates to 18 beneficiaries — one each representing 18 focus areas of artisanal works. Before leaving the conference hall at Yashobhoomi, he reached out to the audience and got himself photographed with them.

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