Mehbooba bats for cluster approach, tech centres to revitalize local industry

CM meets MSME Minister

Union Minister for MSME, Kalraj Mishra, called on Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, at her residence and discussed wide-ranging issues relating to ease of doing business for micro, small and medium enterprises in the state.

Minister for I&C, Chander Parkash, Chairman, KVIC, V. K. Saxena and Union Secretary MSME, K. K. Jalan, were also present on the occasion.

The Chief Minister discussed with Kalraj Mishra the need for enhancement of target under PMEGP (Prime Minister’s Employment Guarantee Programme) from 1500 to 4000. She said the credit-linked scheme is quite popular in rural areas and increase in target will enable more entrepreneurs to establish self-sustaining industrial units.

The Union Minister assured Mehbooba Mufti of early action in the matter. He said a proposal for setting up a national-level MSME University is in its advanced stage and once it becomes functional, skill development courses will be imparted to prospective entrepreneurs, including those from Jammu & Kashmir.

Mehbooba Mufti also raised the issue of setting up a Technology Centre, on the pattern of PPDC Meerut, for promotion of cricket bat industry in Anantnag. She indicated the possibility of establishing the Centre under ‘Cluster Development Programme’, which she said will provide much-needed technical knowhow on value additions, enabling the manufacturers to produce finished cricket bats.

  1. K. Jalan informed the meeting that MoMSME is contemplating 10 such Technology Centres in the country, out of which one can be considered for a sports cluster at Anantnag, provided our state government commits a chunk of land as equity. He also informed the meeting about setting up of Rural Self-Employment Training Institutes in each district for promotion of viable cottage industries, especially the fabled Handicraft.         Keeping in view the huge potential in leather manufacturing, the Chief Minister also underlined the need for cluster-based approach at Lassipora. The State government, with inputs from CLRI (Chennai Leather Research Institute), has worked out the essentials and with help from MoMSME, the leather industry will get a huge boost.

Mehbooba Mufti also urged the Union Minister to expedite clearance of 37 identified clusters for village industry like crewel,  sozninamdagabba, chain-stitch, silk reeling, willow wicker and honey processing. She also pitched for an Electronic Service & Training Centre in the state to help in transfer of technology in assembly and manufacture of electronic items and parts for our young entrepreneurs.

          A proposal for establishing rice cluster at Jammu and Papier Machie at Srinagar has also been submitted to MoMSME. The Central Ministry is in the process of simplification of procedure for availing sanctions under Cluster Development Programme, the meeting was informed.

The Chief Minister also urged the MSME Minister to accord formal sanction to setting up of Market Plazas at Pampore and Jammu, which has already been agreed in principle by Khadi Village Industries Commission.

Regarding the issue of creation of additional infrastructure for EDI Jammu and establishment of separate Entrepreneurship Development Institutes for women at Jammu & Srinagar, it was decided that a comprehensive proposal will be submitted to the Union Ministry of Skill Development.

Kalraj Mishra discussed with the Chief Minister the launch of updated e-charkhas for which requisite training will be provided to the weavers, mostly women. He also said that pashmina, which was earlier out of the ambit of MSME, has been included in the list.

Mehbooba Mufti also highlighted the need for broadening the scope of ‘SFURTI’ (Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries) in J&K, which aims at making traditional industries like hand-spun, hand-woven and silk varieties more productive and competitive.

Since J&K is geographically disadvantaged, the Chief Minister sought dispensing with the condition of ‘one industrial estate for one district’ under J&K MSE-CDP scheme. She said since only a few districts like Srinagar, Pulwama and Budgam, Kathua, Samba and Jammu districts with locational advantage have been preferred by investors, J&K should be allowed to set up more than one industrial estate in each of these districts.

As J&K, unlike other states, is not benefiting from a slew of MSME schemes, the Union Minister said the state has been unable to get its fair share in growth of MSME sector. He specifically mentioned Mudra Yojana, where hassle-free loans have been advanced to those entrepreneurs who need start-up capital.

It was decided that a high-level team from the State Industries Department will soon visit New Delhi to iron-out issues so that MSME sector is able to revitalize and substantially contribute to the state’s economy.