Aug 20: At a time when the country’s economy took a severe jolt due to the Covid-19 lockdown, the flagship Prime Minister Employment Generation Program (PMEGP) implemented by Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) progressed at a much rapid pace. Thanks to a major decision of the Ministry of MSME introducing a new&faster mechanism in approving the PMEGP projects, the approval of projects during the first five months of this financial year, i.e. from April 1, 2020, to August 18, 2020, increased by a whopping 44%.
Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), has approved and forwarded 1.03 lakh project applications to the financing banks as compared to 71,556 projects during the corresponding period last year and thus registering a jump of 44%.
PMEGP is the flagship employment generation program of the Central government and KVIC is the nodal agency for implementing the scheme. The Ministry on April 28, this year amended the guidelines to do away with the role of the District Level Task Force Committee (DLTFC) in approving the PMEGP projects. The role of DLTFC, headed by the District Collectors, was time consuming. As such, the swift execution of projects under PMEGP and KVIC was demanding doing away with the same as this important scheme required greater priority. As per the amended guidelines, KVIC, the nodal agency for implementing PMEGP scheme, was entrusted the task of clearing the applications from prospective entrepreneurs and forward it to the Banks for taking credit decisions.
During the period from April to August in 2020, financing banks sanctioned 11,191 projects and Rs 345.43 crore margin money was disbursed to applicants as compared to Rs 276.09 crore margin money disbursed for 9161 projects in the first five months of previous year, i.e. 2019. The number of sanctioned projects by banks thus increased by 22% while the disbursement of margin money by KVIC increased by 24% as compared to previous year.
The faster implementation of PMEGP projects this year assumes greater significance as the entire country was under lockdown for most part of these five months. The higher number of projects also signifies the government’s resolve to create self-employment and sustainable livelihood for the people by promoting local manufacturing.
KVIC Chairman Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena said the massive jump in approval of PMEGP projects is a result of the Prime Minister’s call for “Minimum Government, Maximum Governance”. “Discontinuing the role of District Collectors has ensured swift implementation of the projects. However, the banks must also expedite the process of sanctioning funds so as to benefit the maximum number of applicants. Timely disbursal of funds is crucial for execution of projects and creating employment in the country,” Saxena said.