Vishwakarma Yojana: The ambitious scheme to support persons using traditional skills, the Rs 13,000 crore Vishwakarma Yojana, was approved by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday. The programme provides craftsmen with discounted loans up to Rs 2 lakh at a 5% concessional interest rate. The Vishwakarma Yojana will help 30 lakh artisan families, including weavers, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, laundry workers, and barbers, according to Union minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, who made the announcement. Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs where the decision was made.
Vishwakarma Yojana to Commence on September 17
In his speech on Independence Day 2023, Prime Minister Modi stated that the programme would be introduced on September 17 in honour of Vishwakarma Jayanti. “In the days to come, we will launch a scheme on the occasion of Vishwakarma Jayanti, benefiting individuals skilled in traditional craftsmanship, particularly from the OBC community,” PM Modi had said. “Weavers, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, laundry workers, barbers, and such families will be empowered through the ‘Vishwakarma Yojana’, which will begin with an allocation of around Rs 13,000-Rs 15,000 crore,” he had added. A PM Vishwakarma certificate and ID card will be given to artisans and craftsmen as part of the programme. Credit support up to Rs. 1 lakh (first tranche) and Rs. 2 lakh (second tranche) would be given to them at a special interest rate of 5%. Artisans and craftsmen will also be provided skill upgradation, tool kit incentive, incentive for digital transactions and marketing support, an official statement said. “Under the scheme, there will be two types of skilling programmes — Basic and Advanced and a stipend of Rs 500 per day will also be provided to beneficiaries while undergoing skills training,” Vaishnaw said.
Vishwakarma Yojana to Provide Rs 15,000 Assistance for Contemporary Tools
Additionally, he said, they will receive assistance of up to Rs 15,000 to purchase contemporary gear. Five lakh families will be covered in the first year, he said, and 30 lakh families will be covered in total over the course of five years, from FY24 to FY28. “The scheme aims to strengthen and nurture the ‘Guru-Shishya parampara’ or family-based practice of traditional skills by artisans and craftsmen working with their hands and tools,” the statement said. The programme also seeks to expand the market for the goods and services provided by artisans and craftsmen and to ensure that Vishwakarmas are included in both local and international value chains. 18 conventional transactions will be initially covered. In addition to carpenter (Suthar), boat maker, armourer, blacksmith, hammer and tool kit maker, locksmith, goldsmith, potter (Kumhaar), sculptor, stone breaker, cobbler, mason, basket/mat/broom maker/coir weaver, doll and toy maker (traditional), barber, garland maker, washerman, tailor, and fishing net maker, there are also a number of other occupations in this list.
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