Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Micro,Small & Medium Enterprises
19-November-2010 16:15 IST
Promotion of Agriculture based Industries
According to the Population Census-2001, 23.6 per cent of the total population of the country including Himachal Pradesh were earning livelihood from agriculture and allied activities.

In so far as the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises is concerned, the share of Micro, Small and Cottage Industries in total manufacturing output and Gross Domestic Product was 45.42% and 6.09% respectively in 2007-08, according to the latest available figures.

In order to promote micro enterprises in non-farm sector, including units of agro based industries, the Ministry had been implementing the Rural Employment Generation Programme (REGP) in the country through Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) till 2007-08. During 2008-09, the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises launched the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), a credit-linked subsidy programme, with Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) as the nodal agency, to provide employment opportunities by assisting individual entrepreneurs in the country including hilly States like Himachal Pradesh through the District Industries Centres and State Khadi and Village Industries Boards. Beneficiaries from hilly areas are entitled to a higher level of margin money assistance at the rate of 35 per cent in rural areas and 25 per cent in urban areas, with lower beneficiary’s contribution (5% of project cost) as compared to beneficiaries belonging to general category.

For popularizing PMEGP and other schemes in the agro and rural industries sector in the country including hilly areas, KVIC undertakes publicity and awareness through various interventions like workshops, exhibitions, awareness camps, pamphlets and use of print and electronic media so that more and more persons from such areas could take the advantage of the schemes of the Ministry. In addition, more than 100 clusters of traditional industries (including 29 khadi, 50 village industries and 26 coir clusters) have been taken up for development through capacity building measures including setting up of common facilities, providing employment to about 1.78 lakh artisans.

This information was given by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Shri Dinsha Patel in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.