100 beneficiaries to be identified in each of the districts in State

Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (Independent Charge) K.H. Muniyappa has said that his Ministry has launched a national programme to impart entrepreneurship development training to 100 youngsters from each district. He urged Mr. Shettar to direct the Deputy Commissioners to identify 100 potential entrepreneurs in each of their districts in three months.

Mr. Muniyappa was speaking after inaugurating the five-day Karnataka Coir Expo-2013 here on Saturday. The expo was organised by the Coir Board.

The Minister said that a skill development centre would come up on 15 acres near Bangalore International Airport. He requested Mr. Shettar to lay the foundation stone for the construction of the building to house the training centre. According to Mr. Muniyappa, nationalised banks will give surety-free loan of Rs. 25 lakh to entrepreneurs, and that the amount could go up to Rs. 1 crore for which the Government of India would stand guarantee. Banks will process loan applications within two months.

And, entrepreneurs belonging to the Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe, and rural women would get 35 per cent subsidy.

‘Buy coir products’

Mr. Muniyappa suggested that the State government should make use of coir products in its departments. He urged Mr. Shettar to make purchases of coir products to furnish government offices. He said that if coir products are used, nearly one crore trees can be saved every year and use of six crore tonnes of plastic can be avoided.

The Minister said that 80 per cent of the labour force in the coir industry comprised women.

Mr. Muniyappa disclosed that 40 per cent of the coir products produced in the country were being exported, and that his Ministry aimed at increasing it further to 50 per cent for which he sought the cooperation of the State government.

On the occasion, Mr. Muniyappa presented a cheque for Rs. 37.82 lakh as the Marketing Development Assistance to the Chief Minister.

Responding to the suggestions Mr. Muniyappa made, Mr. Shettar said he would direct officials concerned to consider all his requests and do the needful. His government would do all to make Karnataka number one in the coir industry.

Coir Board Chairperson G. Balachandran said that the Central Institute of Coir Technology, Peenya, had achieved a technological breakthrough by developing coir wood, a substitute for wood.

Prof. Balachandran said that coir pith, a waste material obtained while extracting coir fibre, is in great demand internationally. It is used as a soil conditioner and growing media.

Performances by noted artistes will be held on all evenings at the Palace Grounds, the venue of the Karnataka Coir Expo.

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