NATIONAL

KVIC marketing subsidiary to be set up

NEW DELHI FEB. 15. A marketing company is soon likely to be created as a subsidiary of the Khadi and Village Industries (KVIC). But it will be run as a professional company in the marketing sector. This was disclosed here today by the KVIC chairman, Mahesh Sharma, after a meeting with the Union Finance Minister, Yashwant Sinha, on the need to pay special emphasis to the khadi and village industries sector. The setting up of the marketing subsidiary was discussed during the meeting and an announcement is expected in the next few weeks.

Mr. Sinha assured the KVIC chairman that rural industrialisation would get high priority in the coming budget. The Government was committed to increasing self-employment opportunities and boosting khadi and village industries would be a key element in future strategy.

Dr. Sharma urged Mr. Sinha to implement the khadi package recommended by the K.C. Pant Committee in 2000. He also sought convergence among the numerous Central agencies working in the rural industries sector as well as an allocation of Rs.100 crores for upgrading the National Institute of Rural Industrialisation at Wardha. The institute, started by Mahatma Gandhi in 1935 as the All-India Village Industries Association, was gradually reduced to a limited role and activity. Now, KVIC has engaged IIT Delhi on a turnkey basis to develop it as a premier institution.

Briefing presspersons, Dr. Sharma said the move to develop KVIC products for the higher end of the market was being continued as they had evoked a "very good response''. The KVIC is working closely with the National Institute of Design (NID) at Ahmedabad and has been able to upgrade the quality of fabrics. The KVIC chief, however, expressed unhappiness over the continued linkage of this sector with the office of the Development Commissioner, Small Scale Industries, which had been made the nodal agency in 1999. This, he said, had not achieved the desired effect in giving a push to rural industrialisation.

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