The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) will organise buyer-seller meets in different parts of the State involving women SHGs and industrial fraternity, Nandini Rangasamy, Chairperson, CII, Tamil Nadu, said on Saturday.
The buyer-seller meet last year in Coimbatore resulted in Rs. 30 lakh business. Similar meets would be conducted to expand market opportunities for the women SHGs, Ms. Nandini said, addressing the inaugural session of SHG Conclave 2010, the first of its kind by organised by the CII in Tamil Nadu.
The conclave featured discussions on the themes: quality, branding and marketing; resouce mobilisation and skilling; achieving efficiency and profitability; enabling performance and growth through clustering; scaling up through entrepreneurship; access to funds; asset quality and financial management; and sustainability.
The CII would also hold mentoring sessions to impart executive training to the SHG members and build their capabilities, Ms. Nandini assured, responding to a request made earlier by the State Transport Minister K.N. Nehru for offering skill-training such that the SHGs could take up income generation activities on a larger scale through diversifying their product base.
The Principal Secretary of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj K. Allaudin, the Managing Director of Corporation for Development of Women K. Gopal, and the District Collector Mahesan Kasirajan also echoed the view.
Mr. Nehru wanted women SHGs to broadbase their income generation even while supporting the agricultural sector through manufacture of chemicals used as inputs for fertilisers and manure. In a competitive environment, training support by CII would help the SHGs to reduce product costs. The rise in the number of women SHGs in Tamil Nadu to over four lakh was a reflection of the faith that the Chief Minister
M. Karunanidhi and the Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin have reposed in the ability of SHGs drawn from BPL families to usher in an economic transition through their income generation activities, he said.
Mr. Allaudin said the ambit of the world-bank funded Vazhndu Kattuvom scheme for economic uplift of BPL women and differently abled sections has now been expanded to include 10 more districts in addition to the existing 16. The scheme will be implemented in fifty more panchayat unions in the 10 districts along with the 70 panchayat unions in the initial 16 districts. The duration of the scheme has been extended by four years. The total funding under the scheme has risen to Rs. 1,667 crore, he said.
Dr. Gopal was confident of scaling up credit linkage with subsidy component from banks to Panchayat Level Federations (PLF) of women SHGs and transforming the clusters of SHGs into entrepreneurs manufacturing jute, terracotta, textiles, and automobile products with CII's skill-training support for value addition and marketing. He also sought the support of research institutions and public sector undertakings like the BHEL for making the ventures of SHGs and PLFs sustainable.
G. Ramakrishna, General Manager - Outsourcing, BHEL; S. Gopinath, Chairman, CII Tiruchi Zone, and Rani Muralidharan, Co Convenor – Women Leadership and Empowerment Panel, CII, Tamil Nadu offered felicitations.