(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Changing Face of Rural Industries
Changing Face of Rural Industries
- Agriculture and the allied sectors have been integral and instrumental to the process of rural development - improving the quality of life and economic well-being of people living in rural areas - as well as national development. In 1950s agriculture contributed to over 50 percent in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of India while employing more than 70 percent of the Indian workforce. Gradually the contribution of agriculture to the GDP started to fall and reached the point of 18.4 percent in 2019-20.
- The recent trends in agriculture sector’s contribution to GDP and employment show that despite the engagement of substantial labour force the agriculture sector has not grown much. The challenges of underemployment, disguised unemployment and seasonal employment remain key labour force issues in the agriculture sector among other issues such as lack of sustained investment, easy credit availability, climate related certainties, market access, etc. While these are critical issues to be resolved, there have been more concentrated policy efforts by the government to
a) promote jobs in the MSME sector and digital service economy in rural areas and
b) create self-employment opportunities through rural entrepreneurship
- Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP): it is a credit linked
subsidy scheme, for setting up of new micro-enterprises and to generate employment opportunities in rural as well as urban areas of the country through Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), State Khadi and Village Industries Board (KVIB) and District Industries Centres (DIC). Since inception and up to January 2016, 3.50 lakh micro enterprises have been set up by utilising margin money amounting to Rs. 7004.40 crore and 29.82 lakh jobs have been created from these units.
- Scheme of Fund for Regeneration Traditional Industries (SFURTI): This scheme was launched in 2005-06 for making Traditional Industries more productive and competitive organising the traditional industries and artisans into clusters. Twenty-six clusters have been granted final approval with a total project cost of Rs. 72 crore benefiting around 25,000 artisans.
- A Scheme for Promoting Innovation, Rural Industry and Entrepreneurship (ASPIRE): ASPIRE was launched in 2015 to promote Innovation and Rural Entrepreneurship through rural Livelihood Business Incubator (LSI), Technology Business Incubator (TBI) and Fund of Funds for start-up creation in the agrobased industry.
- Stand Up India: This scheme is meant to provide composite loans between Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 100 lakhs for setting up Greenfield enterprises in non-farm sector by SC/ST and women entrepreneurs.
- Rural Economy has been a major contributor to the Gross Domestic Product of the country. Sectors like agriculture have been a major force in the economy. However, its contribution to the economy has stagnated in the last decade while it still employs close to 50 percent of our labour force - mostly underemployed. The non-farm sector holds immense potential provided we facilitate entrepreneurs to address the long standing challenges in the sector.