Centre Offers Collateral-Free Loans up to Rs 1 Lakh at 5% Interest, Benefitting 30 Lakh Craftsmen and Families
Approval has been granted on Wednesday by the Cabinet
Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), under the leadership of Prime Minister
Narendra Modi, for a distinctive central sector scheme titled "PM
Vishwakarma." This innovative endeavor was introduced by Prime Minister
Modi in his recent address on Independence Day. The program aims to offer
advantageous prospects to 30 lakh artisans and their families by granting them
collateral-free loans at a reduced interest rate. Union Minister Ashwini
Vaishnaw affirmed this development.
Running for a five-year term until 2028, the "PM
Vishwakarma" scheme has an allocated budget of ₹13,000 crore. In its initial
phase, it will encompass 18 traditional crafts, with carpenters, boat makers,
blacksmiths, locksmiths, goldsmiths, potters, sculptors, cobblers, and masons,
among others, being the initial beneficiaries.
According to a statement from the central government, the
"PM Vishwakarma" plan entails several benefits for artisans and
craftsmen, including official recognition via certificates and ID cards, access
to credit with preferential interest rates of 5%, the provision of skill
enhancement, toolkit incentives, rewards for digital transactions, and support
in marketing their products.
In the same meeting, the CCEA also granted its approval for
the "PM-eBus Sewa" project. This initiative aims to integrate 10,000
electric buses into the country's public transportation system. Over a span of
ten years, the operation and maintenance of these e-buses will be supported, as
noted by Union Minister Anurag Thakur.
This project has a comprehensive vision, with the deployment
of e-buses in 169 cities and infrastructural enhancements in 181 cities through
the Green Urban Mobility Initiatives. The estimated cost of this scheme is
₹57,613 crore, with a substantial ₹20,000 crore provided by the central
government. It's anticipated that this effort will generate between 45,000 to
55,000 job opportunities due to the deployment of around 10,000 buses, which
will significantly enhance city bus operations.
The "PM-eBus Sewa" initiative consists of two key
components. One segment focuses on expanding city bus services, while the other
concentrates on developing infrastructural aspects under the Green Urban
Mobility Initiatives umbrella. In this context, the initiative will support
environmentally friendly measures such as bus priority systems, infrastructure
development, and multimodal interchange facilities.
The scheme delineates the responsibilities of states and
cities, which will be accountable for operating the bus services and
remunerating bus operators. Concurrently, the central government will provide
financial support in the form of subsidies to bolster these bus operations.