The Solar Charkha Mission, with a budget of Rs 550 crore for the initial two years, will generate direct employment for nearly one lakh persons, Parliament was informed today. "Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has launched the Mission Solar Charkha for implementation of 50 Solar Charkha Clusters across the country with a budget of Rs 550 crore for the year 2018-19 and 2019-20. The scheme will generate direct employment to nearly one lakh persons," MSME Minister Giriraj Singh said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha. Solar charkha units have been classified as village industries. The mission was launched by President Ram Nath Kovind on 27 June, 2018 on the occasion of UN SME Day. Besides, Singh said the ministry is also implementing a project to establish 15 new Tool Rooms and Technology Development Centres and upgrade the existing 18 centres in the country, at an estimated cost of Rs 2,200 crore, which includes World Bank loan of USD 200 Million.