Karthik Madhavan

ERODE: Entrepreneurial activity has taken a beating the district, as elsewhere, in the absence of the flagship Prime Minister’s Rozgar Yojna (PMRY) and Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) Margin Money schemes.

The Union Government from April 1, 2008 had withdrawn the schemes, which was a boon to entrepreneurs, particularly to people wanting to do business for the first time. The PMRY, in particular, offered entrepreneurs up to Rs. 5 lakh without collateral security. It was up to Rs. 2 lakh for people wanting to start business establishments.

The scheme found very good response in Erode, if the bankers’ figures are anything to go by. As against the target of 1,485 loans in the 2007-08 financial year, banks gave 1,487 loans for Rs. 10.40 crore. In the 2006-07 and 2005-06 financial years too the district had achieved targets. The surpassing of target, in other words, means persons wanting to start industry and business availed the scheme to the full. In fact, Erode had stood first in the State as far as the PMRY scheme is concerned.

Applications

Now, in the absence of the scheme, the entrepreneurial activity had almost come to a naught. Applications received in the last quarter of the previous financial year are still pending.

According to sources at the District Industries Centre, around 560 applications are yet to be processed.

Similarly, the KVIC Margin Money scheme offered as much as Rs. 25 lakh for industrial ventures. The scheme had a subsidy component, which was 25 per cent up to Rs. 10 lakh and 10 per cent thereafter subject to a maximum of Rs. 3 lakh.

In the 2007-08 financial year, 127 persons had availed the scheme for a loan amount of Rs. 13.37 crore. As in PMRY, entrepreneurs had made full use of the scheme, helping bankers achieve target in the last three financial years.

In the absence of these two programmes, those wanting to start new ventures are left without schemes. Vice-President of Erode District Small Industries Association R. Mylsami says there are very few other means of accessing capital for first-time entrepreneurs.

He urges the Union Government, which according to reports plans to announce a scheme combining the features of PMRY and KVIC Margin Money, to come out with guidelines at the earliest. With a quarter of the current financial year already gone by, he wants the government to expedite the announcement.

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