New Delhi: In addition to opening the first phase of the ultra-modern India International Convention and Expo Centre (IICC) — 'Yashobhoomi' — in Dwarka on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a Rs 13,000-crore scheme to support traditional artisans and craftspeople.
According to Modi, "Yashobhoomi" is a gift to "every labourer, every Vishwakarma" of the country.
The prime minister went on to say that the country now has a government that gives minorities a voice.
On the occasion of the introduction of the Vishwakarma plan, he also introduced an electronic booklet that serves as a toolkit and 18 stamp sheets with designs specific to the 18 traditional professions whose employees benefit from the programme.
The Vishwakarma programme was created to help traditional craftspeople and service providers better serve their communities and provide for their customers.
The programme provides unsecured loans for business development of up to Rs 1 million (first installment payable in 18 months) and Rs 2 million (second installment payable in 30 months).
The Ministry of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises will pay up to 8 percentage points of the beneficiary's interest as a subvention. The federal government will foot the bill for credit guarantee costs.
Built at a total of more than 1.8 million square feet, 'Yashobhoomi' will be one of the world's largest MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) facilities.
At the Yashobhoomi, Prime Minister Modi explained the Vishwakarma plan and urged the assembled artisans to support only GST-registered businesses when purchasing Made in India toolkits.
He urged people to support local businesses by buying locally made goods at upcoming celebrations like Ganesh Chaturthi, Dhanteras, and Diwali, and to spread the word about the government's 'Vocal for Local' initiative.
Modi went on to say that India stands to gain greatly from the conference tourism industry, which is expected to be worth Rs 25 lakh crore.
He said that several lakh people would find work at Yashobhoomi because it has everything needed to host conferences and exhibits.
Thousands of young people are anticipated to find work thanks to the "Yashobhoomi" convention hall, the prime minister added.
With the opening of the new "Yashobhoomi Dwarka Sector 25" metro station, Yashobhoomi will also be linked to the Delhi Airport Metro Express line.
In addition to cutting travel time, the Delhi Metro would enhance the operational speed of Metro trains on the Airport Express Line from 90 to 120 kilometres per hour. It will take about 21 minutes to get from "New Delhi" to "Yashobhoomi Dwarka Sector 25."
The new Central Sector Scheme "PM Vishwakarma," with an outlay of Rs 13,000 crore for a period of five years (FY 2023-24 to FY 2027-28), was authorised last month by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, led by the prime minister.
Credit up to Rs 1 lakh (first tranche) and Rs 2 lakh (second tranche) with a concessionary interest rate of 5% would be made available to artists and craftspeople under the PM Vishwakarma scheme.
Skill enhancement, toolkit incentives, digital transaction bonuses, and promotional aid are also part of the plan.
The programme is open to those who use their hands and tools to work in one of the 18 traditional trades that have been passed down through their families for generations.
Carpenters, boat builders, armourers, blacksmiths, hammer and toolkit makers, locksmiths, goldsmiths, potters, sculptors (moortikar, stone carvers), stone breakers, cobblers, masons, basket weavers, coir weavers, doll and toy makers (traditional), barbers, garland weavers, washermen, tailors, and fishermen all fall under this category.—Inputs from Agencies