Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘PM Vishwakarma’ scheme on Sunday, marking the occasion of ‘Vishwakarma Jayanti’. This initiative aims to provide loan assistance to traditional craftsmen and artisans at a minimal interest rate, eliminating the requirement for collateral.
With a financial allocation of ₹13,000 crore over a five-year period, the scheme is set to benefit approximately 30 lakh families of traditional artisans and craftsmen, including weavers, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, laundry workers, and barbers.
The primary objective of the scheme is to enhance the accessibility and quality of products and services offered by these traditional artisans and craftsmen. It offers collateral-free enterprise development loans in two tranches, ₹1 lakh for the first tranche with an 18-month repayment period and ₹2 lakh for the second tranche with a 30-month repayment period.
Beneficiaries will enjoy a concessional interest rate of 5 per cent, with the Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises capping interest subvention at 8 per cent. The central government will cover the credit guarantee fees.
Under the scheme, participants will also receive benefits like official recognition as a Vishwakarma through a certificate and ID card. Skill verification will be followed by 5-7 days (40 hours) of basic training. Interested candidates can further enrol for 15 days (120 hours) of advanced training, with a stipend of ₹500 per day provided.
Additionally, the scheme includes a ₹15,000 grant as a toolkit incentive and rewards for digital transactions, with ₹1 per transaction for up to 100 transactions monthly.
A National Committee for Marketing (NCM) will provide various services such as Quality Certification, Branding & Promotion, E-commerce linkage, Trade Fairs advertising, publicity, and other marketing activities.
To be eligible for registration under PM Vishwakarma, an artisan or craftsperson must work with their hands and tools in one of the 18 family-based traditional trades mentioned in the scheme. They should also operate in the unorganised sector on a self-employment basis and have a minimum age of 18 years at the time of registration.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi celebrated his 73rd birthday on Sunday.