Vishwakarma scheme will aid 30 lakh artisan families: Centre

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approves the scheme, announced by Prime Minister Modi in his Independence Day speech, with an outlay of ₹13,000 crore

August 16, 2023 04:00 pm | Updated August 17, 2023 09:08 am IST - New Delhi

An artisan makes bamboo baskets by a roadside on the outskirts of Hyderabad on July 15, 2023.

An artisan makes bamboo baskets by a roadside on the outskirts of Hyderabad on July 15, 2023. | Photo Credit: AFP

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved the “PM Vishwakarma” with an outlay of ₹ 13,000 crore. The scheme, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day speech on Tuesday (August 15), will be available for traditional craftspeople and artisans for five financial years from 2023-2024 to 2027-2028.

The Centre said in a release that the scheme aims to strengthen and nurture the “Guru-Shishya parampara” or the family-based practice of traditional skills by artisans and craftspeople working with their hands and tools.

“The scheme also aims at improving the quality, as well as the reach of products and services of artisans and craftspeople and to ensure that the Vishwakarmas are integrated with the domestic and global value chains,” it added.

18 traditional trades such as carpenter, boat maker, armourer, blacksmith, hammer and tool kit maker, locksmith, goldsmith, potter, sculptor, stone breaker, cobbler, mason, basket/mat/broom maker/coir weaver, traditional Doll & toy maker,barber, garland maker, washerman, tailor and fishing net maker will be covered under the scheme. The artisans and craftspeople will get PM Vishwakarma certificate and ID card, credit support up to ₹1 lakh (first tranche) and ₹2 lakh (second tranche) at a concessional interest rate of 5%.

“The scheme will further provide skill upgradation, toolkit incentive, incentive for digital transactions and marketing support,” the release added.

Briefing presspersons after the meeting, Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said there will be two types of skilling programmes — basic and advanced under the scheme and a stipend of ₹500 per day will also be provided to beneficiaries while undergoing skill training. “They will also get a support of up to ₹15,000 to buy modern tools,” he said adding that five lakh families will be covered in the first year of the scheme and 30 lakh families will be covered over five years.

“In the days to come, we will launch a scheme on the occasion of Vishwakarma Jayanti, benefiting individuals skilled in traditional craftsmanship, particularly from the OBC community. Weavers, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, laundry workers, barbers, and such families will be empowered through the Vishwakarma Yojana, which will begin with an allocation of around 13-15 thousand crore rupees,” Mr. Modi had said on Tuesday.

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