Union Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises K.H. Muniyappa has written to the Union Finance Ministry to waive Rs. 517 crore loan, and interest thereon, obtained by 3,000 khadi institutions employing around 15 lakh artisans.

Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of a nine-day Khadi Darshan–2014, a zonal-level Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) exhibition, here on Friday, he promised entrepreneurs, mostly Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, minorities and backward classes, running these institutions not to worry about notices issued to them by banks for loan recovery as he had stayed the orders.

Mr. Muniyappa, who inaugurated the exhibition function, said he had spoken to the Finance Ministry explaining that Rs. 1,000-crore loan was given to khadi entrepreneurs under a scheme of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission for buying machinery and constructing buildings for starting units. They were also given some working capital for production activity.

He told reporters that his Ministry was supplying one lakh solar-driven charakas and the State would be given 5,000 of them. The programme would be launched in the first week of February.

Under the PMEGP, he said, 100 projects had been allocated in each district during 2013–14 for unemployed youth and to ensure self-employment for rural and urban people with a margin money subsidy of Rs. 1,380 crore.

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