Nitin Gadkari suggests way to boost khadi, village industries turnover; seeks research-led tech changes

Nitin Gadkari had last year targeted Rs 5 lakh crore turnover for KVIs in five years. (File photo: IE)

Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari has called for research-based technology changes by small businesses focusing on rural areas for lasting and transformative impact at the village level. Addressing a workshop at the Mahatma Gandhi International Hindi University at Wardha in Maharashtra, the Minister noted that Khadi and Village Industries (KVIs) generate Rs 88,000 crore turnover on an annual basis. However, this can be enhanced if “policy is flexible, and innovative, and is aimed at improving the lives of people living in villages,” Gadkari added. KVIs’ FY20 turnover stood at Rs 88,887 crore including Rs 4211.26 crore share of the Khadi industry. However, Village Industries had the lion’s share of Rs 84,675.39 crore. Gadkari had last year targeted Rs 5 lakh crore turnover for KVIs in five years.

“Migration of as much as 30 per cent of the country’s population from rural areas took place since independence due to lack of growth of the village economy,” Gadkari said while stressing the government’s aim to increase the contribution of the MSME sector to India’s GDP from 30 per cent to 40 per cent “so that rural poor are benefited.” The sale of khadi, small and village industries’ products had witnessed a jump of a whopping nearly 300 per cent during Diwali season last year from the year-ago period amid the government’s Vocal for Local campaign. The consolidated retail sales of products across 14 categories at Khadi Gramodyog Bhawans in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh was worth Rs 20.75 crore, up from Rs 5.44 crore in 2019, according to MSME Ministry.

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“We are not in favour of westernization, but we are in favour of modernization, in the villages. This is the time for socio-economic transformation,” the minister said. Gadkari had last year asked Walmart to support MSMEs in khadi and village industries under the former’s Walmart Vriddhi supplier development programme in order to ramp up MSME exports. To boost digital presence of MSME sellers in khadi and village industries, KVIC had launched its e-commerce marketplace on New Year’s Day to have around 700-800 products, KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena had told Financial Express Online.

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