Exclusive: 7 lakh new jobs likely in khadi, village industries in FY22, says KVIC Chairman

Skill, Labour, Talent for MSMEs:: KVIC, the nodal agency for implementing PMEGP, had disbursed Rs 2188.78 crore margin money to create 5,95,320 PMEGP jobs across 74,415 micro-enterprises set up amid Covid in India during FY21.

As per a study done by KVIC earlier this year, 88 per cent of micro beneficiaries under PMEGP were ‘negatively affected’. (Image: Pixabay)

Skill, Labour, Talent for MSMEs: Khadi and village industries are aiming to generate around 7 lakh new jobs in the current financial year 2021-22, surpassing the 6.32-lakh mark of FY21, Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena told Financial Express Online. KVIC, the nodal agency for implementing Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), had disbursed Rs 2188.78 crore margin money to create 5,95,320 PMEGP jobs across 74,415 micro-enterprises set up amid Covid in India during FY21. The remaining jobs were created under village industries.

“Under PMEGP, 5.95 lakh employment was created in FY21. Under various sub-industries and schemes of village industries such as Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana 25,900 jobs were created, under the honey mission, 1,505 jobs were created. Likewise, 9,083, 1,083, and 10 jobs were created under the wellness and cosmetic industry including agarbatti industry, handmade paper and fibre-based industry, and rural engineering industry respectively. The total count of new jobs was 6.32 lakh which we should grow to around 7 lakh this financial year with growth in demand and overall economic recovery,” said Saxena.

As of November 22, 2021, KVIC had generated 3.30 lakh new jobs including 3.27 lakh under PMEGP. 2,000 new jobs were created under the Kumhar Sashaktikaran  programme, 550 under wellness and cosmetic industry including agarbatti industry, 397 under the handmade paper and fibre-based industry, and 100 under the honey mission, according to the data tweeted by MSME Minister Narayan Rane on Tuesday. 22 jobs were created under rural engineering and new technology industry while 10 jobs emerged under leather artisans empowerment programme.

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The growth in the new employment base assumed significance as a majority of PMEGP units were impacted due to the pandemic. As per a study done by KVIC earlier this year, 88 per cent of micro beneficiaries under PMEGP were ‘negatively affected’ while 57 per cent of beneficiaries had said their units were shut down temporarily during the Covid period. Moreover, 30 per cent reported a drop in production and revenue. However, data on job loss wasn’t available with KVIC or the MSME Ministry.

“We can’t say that there was job loss as spinning and weaving activities could be undertaken from home as well and hence there was no such job impact just because people couldn’t go to factories. However, there was an impact due to Covid during lockdown as many of our stores were shut since production slowed down a bit. Artisans were engaged in newer activities during Covid particularly making khadi masks,” added Saxena.

The reportedly lesser Covid impact on khadi and village industries was also because “we are largely based in rural parts of the country where Covid took some time to reach and had largely hit metros and top tier cities first. If there would be the third wave, we are again prepared for the challenge,” said Saxena.

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