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|Playing a Commendable Role at the Grass Root Level|
|Interview with J. S. Mishra, CEO, Khadi and Village Industries Commission|
With what objective was KVIC set up?
The saga of Khadi was started by Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi to rejuvenate the rural economy as part of the freedom struggle. The All India Khadi and Village Industries Board was set up in 1953. Subsequently, the Khadi and Village Industries Act was passed in Parliament in 1956. The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) was established in 1957 with it’s headquarter at Mumbai. KVIC functions under the administrative control of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Govt. of India. The board objectives of KVIC are providing employment opportunities in rural areas, producing saleable articles and creating self-reliance amongst the people and build up a strong rural community spirit.
What is the exact role of KVIC in the rural employment?
During the last five decades KVIC has been playing a commendable role at the grass root level by providing employment opportunities with low per capita investment to the poorest of the poor in remote rural areas of the Country. Employment generation in rural India is a gigantic problem before the Country. KVI Sector has provided employment to about 90.00 lakh persons, which is a remarkable contribution.
IC has been providing employment opportunities for spinners, weavers and other allied artisans. KVIC’s flagship programme Rural Employment Generation Programme (REGP) is being implemented with the aim of rural industrialisation. This is a credit linked scheme with margin money grant from KVIC which envisages development of rural entrepreneurship i.e. it not only generates employment opportunities but also promotes the entrepreneurial spirit. Under the REGP, around 2.76 lakh units have been set up by providing employment of 43 lakh persons in rural areas.
KVIC is providing employment in rural areas through its different khadi and village industries programmes and schemes being implemented by its 6 Zonal offices 36 filed office and 38 training centres spread through out the Country.
What is the potential of Khadi and Village Industries in India?
Rural population in India as per the 2001 census was around 74.25 crores, out of which around 23% are unemployed. This apart, roughly 50% of the population is not able in a position to earn sufficient wages for their livelihood. In other wards, they are under-employed. Therefore, the need of the hours is not only to provide employment but sustainable employment. KVI sector has vast potential in generating employment opportunities for the unemployed rural youth through its vast network. With the focus of creating employment in the rural areas, KVIC has been playing a vital role in rural industrialisation with low per capita investment in the rural areas, since last 50 years. Full time and sustainable employment is the development policy.
So far, KVIC has provided employment to 8.84 lakh person under Khadi and 80.08 lakh persons under Village Industries up to the terminal year of Xth Five Year Plan in 2006-07. It has been prepared to create employment opportunities to 144.61-lakh person under Khadi & Village Industries by the end of XIth Five Year Plan with a growth rate of 12%.
To role of KVI sector has been very important in the rural economy and it continues to play major role even today. Various programmes started as voluntary efforts under the inspired guidance of Gandhiji have now emerged as major plank of national planning by the Government of India for reinvigorating rural economy. Following the foot steps of Gandhiji who had said “The work among the poor will be profitless and devoid of religion without the spinning wheel. We must help the poor to feed and cloth themselves. No other industry can solve the problem of mass poverty in India”.
Marketing is a professional set up; do you think governmental system suits this kind of activities? Or a new system should be adopted?
Successful marketing has to be professional set up. I do not see any problem in the government system, especially as we see many of the PSU’s have exhibited brilliant performance. However, the overall environment in KVIC presently needs drastic changes as there needs to be lot more receptivity and adaptability to be recognised and inculcated. Sufficient freedom must be given to the leaders capable of giving the organisation a new dimension and direction for growth, as in any good professional organisation.
Are there any exports of Khadi & Village Industries products and where do you see KVIC in the highly competitive and demanding export market ?
Yes. As per the information available, exports of around Rs.50 crores a year is registered under KVI sector. These figures related to the reports received from the producing institutions. However, there is a greater share of undeclared exports through third party (merchant) exporter. Most of the KVI institutions being too small to undertake export on their own, their products are sourced by third party (merchant exporters) and exported for which the data is not readily available. On a rough estimate, it is expected that around Rs.100 crores worth of KVI products are exported through third party, which do not figure in KVIC’s export figures.
With a view to bring all the exports of KVI sector under the fold of KVIC, the Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India has recently bestowed KVIC with the status of deemed (EPC). This effort is expected not only to crystalise the information about exports actually happening but also give a further boost to the sector. I envisage an export of around Rs.1000 in the next 4 years.
In spite of stiff competition in the international market, there is a growing demand for natural, hand made, and eco-friendly products, which is advantage for KVIC since most of the KVI products fall under this category.
What are the challenges KVIC is facing today?
Liberalisation, privatisation, globalisation and IT are the major challenges in the economic system. KVIC is also not an exception in present era scenario. But, at the same time world has shrunk and rethinking has started in the KVI sector also. The open and healthy competition is always helpful. For overall development.
The greatest challenge before KVIC today is not only to continue to nurture and foster small, decentralised units of production in rural India, but also to make available to them, the benefits of SSI Sector through the development of common facilities centres, formation of federations, cluster development etc.
What are the initiatives taken by KVIC?
Few major initiatives taken by KVIC are:-
What are the Schemes of KVIC ?
KVIC has been implementing various schemes for the benefit of rural artisans and youth. Major steps taken in this direction are :
How do you see the Khadi and Village Industries in 2020 ?
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