M.P. Praveen

KOCHI: K. Mohan Raju, State director, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), has said that approval has been given to 1,220 projects received from entrepreneurs under the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP).

The projects have been forwarded to banks for grant of loans. The total estimated cost of the projects comes to about Rs.27 crore, which is in excess of Rs.21.23 crore sanctioned for the State under the PMEGP for the current financial year, Mr. Raju told The Hindu on the sidelines of a State-level workshop held at the Town Hall on Friday. As per the target fixed for the State, the PMEGP was expected to create 17,695 employment opportunities.

He said funding was not an issue since the KVIC was prepared to make good the shortfall in funds even if the total project cost remained in excess of the sanctioned amount after the techno-economic viability study by banks. Mr. Raju said that the projects received in the State were mainly in the agriculture and fruit processing sector and production of construction materials. Entrepreneurs would have to contribute 10 per cent of the total project cost and 5 per cent in the case of special categories including SCs and STs, minorities, women etc,

Loans and subsidy

Banks will give loans covering 90 to 95 per cent (in the case of special categories) of the project cost. The Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises provides subsidy at the rate of 15 per cent and 25 per cent in urban and rural areas respectively (25 per cent and 35 per cent in the case of special categories). Mr. Raju said that a State-level monitoring committee headed by the Principal Secretary (Industry and Commerce) had been formed to look into the implementation of projects under the PMEGP. Problems, if any, detected would be brought to the notice of the district-level taskforce committees, headed by District Collector, and the implementing agencies.

Mr. Raju said as per the terms of the programme, the estimated capital investment for building and machinery for a project by a single entrepreneur should not be in excess of Rs.1 lakh.

Formed by merging the Prime Minister’s Rozgar Yojana and the Rural Employment Generation Programme, the PMEGP, which is being implemented from this year, provides employment opportunities irrespective of the urban-rural divide. In the State, it is being implemented by the KVIC, Khadi and Village Industries Board and the District Industries Centre concerned.