Loans For Women Engaged In Cottage Industry

By Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Steps are being taken to help female entrepreneurs in India get businesses up and running.

Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The government is planning to introduce a loan assistance for women in handicraft and handloom sectors on the lines of a recently launched program for marginal farmers, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said here on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function, he said Uttarakhand has highly skilled women and women self-help groups engaged in both the sectors.

“We are planning to start a loan [program] for them, so they feel motivated and also become economically independent,” Rawat said after inaugurating the ‘MSME Fortnight’, a [program] aimed to encourage those setting up Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

The Rawat government recently launched a [program] under which the poor and marginal farmers are being provided Rs1 lakh loan each at the “minimal” 2% interest rate.

The chief minister also indicated that the rules would soon be relaxed so that those engaged in printing business could get preference in government orders relating to printing works of all kinds.

“Local entrepreneurs engaged in printing business normally charge more from the state government for its printing related orders (compared to those from outside the state),” Rawat said, adding that they “charge more as the raw material needed to run the printing industry is comparatively costlier” in the state.

“Yet, we will prefer local entrepreneurs engaged in printing industry so that their income could get a boost, which will be good for their future,” he said.

On the occasion, Rawat also launched a web portal — startup Uttarakhand. “This portal will act as a platform where entrepreneurs starting their MSMEs will get the guidance from veteran entrepreneurs, experts and officials from the banking sector,” said Manisha Panwar, principal secretary, MSME and Industry.

She said the portal had been launched as part of the mentoring program.
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“Under that program entrepreneurs could upload on the portal all the issues relating to the selection of sites, raw material, marketing and banking facilities etc,” Panwar said.

“They will get all kinds of guidance on each and every issue from their mentors who will also be the members of that portal.”

Panwar said the portal would also have experts from Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMS) as its members. “The objective of the ‘MSME Fortnight’ is to ensure the progress of the MSME sector in a holistic manner.”

Chief minister Rawat said the mountain state had tremendous potential for the growth of MSMEs. Later, while speaking to reporters, he admitted that there had not been the desired growth in the number of people applying for start ups.

“It is true that we have received not many proposals for setting up start ups in the state so far,” he admitted adding, one of the major constraints “is the scarcity of land” for the purpose in the hill state.

Efforts were, however, on to attract more starts ups in the state, Rawat said. “We have, for instance, authorized the district magistrates to sanction MSME units costing more than Rs10 crore.”

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