The Centre is soon launching a special scheme for traditional craftsmen and workers, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day speech on Tuesday.
The scheme, which is expected to mainly benefit other backward classes (OBCs), will be launched during Vishwakarma Jayanti on September 17. It will have an initial outlay of Rs 13,000-15,000 crore.
“A scheme will be launched on the occasion of Vishwakarma Jayanti. It will benefit individuals skilled in traditional craftsmanship, particularly from the OBC community. Weavers, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, laundry workers, barbers, and their families will be empowered through the Vishwakarma Yojana,” the Prime Minister said from the ramparts of the Red Fort.
In addition, the Prime Minister emphasised the importance of capitalising on the demographic dividend and preparing a skilled workforce that is ready to serve the nation and the world.
“Today, while other countries are grappling with an aging population, India is energetically advancing towards a youthful demographic. It is a time of immense pride as India has the highest population under 30. The world requires youthful energy and skills. We have established a separate ministry for skill development. It aims to meet not only India’s needs but the global demand as well,” he stated.
The Prime Minister said that his administration has fostered self-employment, businesses, and ventures for the youth through Mudra Yojana, with a budget exceeding Rs 20 trillion.
Moreover, during the pandemic, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) were fortified with nearly Rs 3.5 trillion. This protected them from collapse, enabling them to create more jobs.
“Approximately 80 million individuals have commenced new businesses. It’s not merely 80 million people who initiated their ventures; each entrepreneur has offered employment to one or two others. Through Mudra Yojana, the ability to provide work to 80-100 million new individuals has been realised,” he added.
Earlier this year, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the Pradhan Mantri Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman (PM-VIKAS) package for artisans and craftsmen. This package will enhance the quality, scale, and accessibility of their products, integrating them with the MSME value chain.