The Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) that was launched in 2008-09 by merging the Rural Employment Generation Programme (REGP) and the Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana (PMRY) of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has resulted in generation of 269 jobs through creation of 32 enterprises in Tiruchi district.

The scheme is an initiative to generate around 38 lakh additional jobs throughout the country from 2008-09 to 2011-12 with a proposed outlay of Rs. 4,735 crore. The Central allotments for 2008-09 and 2009-10 under the scheme were 737.17 crore and Rs. 740.33 crore respectively. It is implemented jointly by the DIC (District Industries Centre), KVIC (Khadi and Village Industries Commission) and KVIB (Khadi and Village Industries Board).

In Tiruchi district, the disbursal of Rs. 1.2 crore as loan for the start of the 32 enterprises includes the subsidy component of 35 per cent. The loan amounts for starting fabrication units, industrial gloves, bakery items, and readymade garments ranged from Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 24 lakhs, the DIC General Manager B. Baskaran said. Against the target to facilitate the start of 49 enterprises during 2009-10 with an allotment of Rs. 91.57 lakhs, the DIC has set its eyes on initiating 56 enterprises, Mr. Baskaran said.

The DIC is in the process of organising a series of meetings in the district to enhance awareness about PMEGP. At one such meeting it organised recently at the Shrimati Indira Gandhi College to create awareness on PMEGP and the MSME – 2008 policy of the Tamil Nadu Government, the participants were apprised of the various loan schemes for industrial development, the approach to obtaining bank loans, the role of women in industrial development, industrial development and scope for fostering entrepreneurship culture, and entrepreneurship opportunities for youth.

The president of Tiruchi District Tiny and Small Scale Industries’ Association (TIDITSSIA) S. Sridharan who addressed the meeting emphasised on building competitiveness through a cluster approach, and in preparation of realistic project report. Customers look for right pricing, value addition and right packaging, he said, explaining the scope for food processing industries.

Commerce students of the college desirous of transforming into entrepreneurs attended the meeting in large numbers. The meeting was also addressed by the Chief Regional Manager of Indian Overseas Bank V.N.S. Lakshmi Narayanan, the College Principal K. Meena, and the president of Women Entrepreneurs’ Association of Tamil Nadu, Rani Muralidharan.

The technical sessions were handled by N. Srinivasulu, Assistant Director of MSME-DI, Chennai; M. Rupkumar, Branch Manager of SIDBI; N. Manimekalai, Director of the Department of Women’s Studies, Bharathidasan University; T. Ramdas, Lead Bank (IOB) Manager; C. Ramasami Desai, Project Director, TIDITSSIA-STED and P. Suresh Kumar, Regional Deputy Director of Employment.