Govt. to promote cottage industries

JAIPUR DEC. 7. As part of the efforts to speed up industrial development, the Rajasthan Government has taken several steps to create the necessary infrastructure, provided essential facilities and removed administrative bottlenecks. Several policy decisions were taken recently and rules simplified for promoting small and cottage industries.

Though Rajasthan is an agrarian State, the Government cannot afford to ignore the industrial sector as an essential segment whose development and growth is considered the key to economic development. The State Government claims that the Non-Resident Rajasthanis (NRRs) have made substantial investments here as a result of its concerted efforts.

An official release issued here today said the Economic Development Board, headed by the Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot, had been constituted for promotion of economic activities and development of infrastructure. Similarly, the single window scheme was launched in 2000 to provide all the facilities to entrepreneurs at one place.

The scheme had facilitated industrialisation and encouraged new entrepreneurs in the State through speedy clearance of projects, the release stated. The high power committees constituted at three levels were strengthened by necessary amendments made in the Rules of Business.

These committees include the Board of Infrastructure Development and Investment (BIDI), constituted under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister. This board considers applications of industrial units having investment above Rs. 25 crores.

A State-level high power committee, headed by the Chief Secretary, considers applications of industrial units having investment from Rs. 3 crores of Rs. 25 crores. The district-level committees consider applications of those having investment upto Rs. 3 crores.

As many as 64 units were sanctioned loans amounting to Rs. 93.56 crores during 1999-2000, while term loans of Rs. 44.32 crores were disbursed during the year. During 2000-01, loans worth Rs. 195.29 crores were sanctioned and disbursement of Rs. 145.95 crores was achieved against the target of Rs. 225 crores and Rs. 140 crores, respectively. Under a scheme introduced in 1998, interest subsidy of 2 percent on the documented rate has been sanctioned, subject to a ceiling of Rs. 15 lakhs, to small scale industrial units having investment in plant and machinery upto Rs. 60 lakhs.

The Government also claims to have made considerable efforts for generating a conducive atmosphere to enable entrepreneurs to set up industrial units. As a result, over 35,300 small scale industries and artisan units were set up in the State during the past four years. Over 1,29,000 persons have been provided employment through these units with a capital investment of Rs. 860.89 crores.

Similarly, over 460 industrial investment proposals worth Rs. 10,744 crores for large and medium scale industries were sent to the Central Government. They are expected to generate employment opportunities for about 92,000 persons.

As the artisanship of Rajasthan is known all over, the Government has initiated an integrated programme for equipping the industry with the latest technologies that would help it meet the challenges of the global market. Under the programme, schemes have been initiated to raise the social and economic standard of artisans and impart them training in the latest technologies.

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