Budget 2019: Khadi’s reinvention sees increased budgetary allocation

The Budget expenditure for Khadi reflects the intent to get the focus back on the versatility offered by the unique fabric of India.

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Another jump is seen in the Solar Charkha Mission which saw a heightened allocation of Rs 143.50 crore as against Rs 50 crore in the previous financial year. (Pic courtesy: Khadi & Village Industries Commission)
In step with the government’s vision to promote Khadi as a global fabric, the FY 20 Budget allocation has been to the tune of Rs 1252.65 crore towards Development of Khadi, Village and Coir Industries. Though, at a glance, the increase only amounts to 3% over last fiscal, there have been new additions this time which clearly reflect the roadmap ahead.

Focus on job creation
For instance, Khadi Vikas Yojana (KVY) has received the bulk of the grant amounting to Rs 396.46 crore as against a nil component last year. KVY comprises of two new aspects namely RozgarYukt Gaon and Design House, besides the existing schemes like Market Promotion Development Programme, Interest Subsidy Eligibility Certificate and Khadi Reforms Development Programme.

This is in sync with a PIB release earlier this year which highlighted how the Rozgar Yukta Gaon aims at introducing an 'Enterprise-led Business Model' instead of 'Subsidy-led model' through partnership among three stakeholders - Khadi Reform Development Programme (KRDP)-assisted Khadi Institution, artisans and business partner.


It is to be rolled out in 50 villages by handing over 10,000 charkhas, 2000 looms and 100 warping units to Khadi artisans thereby creating opportunities of direct employment.

Special focus, as per the release, would also be on agro-based and food processing, handmade paper and leather, pottery and wellness and cosmetics through product innovation, design and diversification. Setting up four Design Houses all over the country for regional variations and modern designs with an investment of Rs 5 crore each had also been announced.

The Gramodyog Vikas Yojana (GVY) has been allotted Rs 102.92 crore this year which focuses on promotion and development of the village industries through common facilities, technological modernisation, and training other support and services for the promotion of village Industries.
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Revisions in allocation
Some of the heads that did not see a separate grant this time included Village Industries (VI) Grant and Khadi, VI and Coir (S and T), a departure from the previous fiscal practice.

Another jump is seen in the Solar Charkha Mission which saw a heightened allocation of Rs 143.50 crore as against Rs 50 crore in the previous financial year. This is in line with the government’s vision to offer employment in villages via solar charkhas. The scheme envisages setting up of Solar Charkha Clusters, which implies a focal village and other surrounding villages in a radius of 8 to 10 kilometres. Such a cluster is expected to have 200 to 2042 beneficiaries such as spinners, weavers, stitchers and other skilled artisans.

However, Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) maintained status quo at Rs 125 crore. The aim of the scheme has been to set up Common Facility Centres (CFCs) for cluster-based development so that traditional industries can be more productive and profitable for generated sustained employment. Building up innovative and traditional skills, improved technologies and advanced processes have been some of the main objectives of SFURTI.

A scheme which saw a quantifiable drop this time was the Market Promotion and Development Assistance (MPDA) with a 69% dip at Rs 103.33 crore grant as against Rs 340 crore last year. This scheme has been formulated as a unified scheme by merging different schemes of different heads implemented in the 11th Plan, namely, Market Development Assistance, Publicity, Marketing and Market Promotion. The overall thrust here has been to bring in increased earnings for artisans.
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Best foot forward
In an interview with ET.com last month, V K Saxena, Chairman, Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) had said that they plan to focus on Khadi as a global fabric and are targeting sales of Rs 5,000 crore this year. He also reiterated how the Village Industry products such as detergents, soaps, honey and oil offer huge employment potential across different parts of the country.

The Modi Government, last year, had planned a lineup of special events in India and abroad to mark the 150th birth anniversary year of Mahatma Gandhi including positioning Khadi abroad as an ‘idea’ and practical ‘health solution’, instead of limiting it to only a ‘garment.’
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The Budget expenditure this time for Khadi industries reflects the intent of the government to get the focus back on the versatility offered by the unique hand-spun and hand-woven fabric of India.
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