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Preserving Heritage, Empowering Artisans

J&K's PM Vishwakarma Success Story
05:00 AM Jul 02, 2024 IST | MUKEET AKMALI
preserving heritage  empowering artisans

Jammu and Kashmir has emerged as the second-highest performer in PM Vishwakarma training, surpassing many larger states. This achievement underscores the Union Territory's commitment to preserving traditional crafts and empowering local artisans. Two districts from J&K - Budgam from the Kashmir Division and Jammu from the Jammu Division - have secured positions among the top 10 districts nationwide in scheme implementation. The MSME DFO Jammu, a field office of the Union Ministry of MSME, has played a pivotal role in this success, actively implementing various schemes and activities to benefit the MSMEs of Jammu & Kashmir.
Introduction to PM Vishwakarma Scheme
Launched on September 17, 2023, the PM Vishwakarma Scheme is a central sector initiative designed by the Government to provide comprehensive assistance to artisans and craftspeople across the country. Named after Vishwakarma, the Hindu god of craftsmen and artisans, this scheme aims to uplift skilled artisans from 18 different trades, recognizing their crucial role in preserving and enriching India's cultural heritage.
Key Objectives
Skill Enhancement: Organising training programs and workshops to improve traditional skills and introduce new techniques.
Quality and Productivity Improvement: Providing access to modern tools and equipment to enhance the quality and efficiency of artisanal work.
Financial Empowerment: Facilitating access to collateral-free loans and other financial support mechanisms.
Digital Integration: Encouraging the adoption of digital transactions and establishing an online presence for artisans.
Market Linkages: Strengthening connections between artisans and both domestic and international markets.
Cultural Preservation: Ensuring the continuity of traditional crafts by supporting artisans and their skills.
Scheme Components
1. Recognition and Certification:
- PM Vishwakarma Certificate: Acknowledges the artisan's skills and engagement in the scheme.
- PM Vishwakarma ID Card: Serves as official identification and verification of involvement.
2. Skill Development:
- Foundational Training: 5-7 days program focusing on fundamental skills.
- Advanced Training: 15-day program for skill refinement and innovation.
- Daily Training Allowance: ₹500 stipend to support participation.
3. Financial Assistance:
- Tool Kit Incentive: E-vouchers worth up to ₹15,000 for essential tools and equipment.
- Enterprise Development Loans: Collateral-free loans up to ₹3 lakhs at 5% interest rate, disbursed in two installments.
4. Digital Transaction Incentive:
- Re 1 per transaction, up to 100 transactions per month, promoting cashless transactions.
5. Marketing and Promotional Support:
- Assistance from the National Committee for Marketing (NCM) in areas like quality certification, branding, e-commerce connectivity, and trade fair participation.
Eligibility Criteria
- Individuals aged 18 and above
- Self-employed in family-centric traditional trades within the unorganized sector
- Involved in one of the 18 designated trades covered by the scheme
Application Process
1. Visit the official scheme website
2. Register using mobile number and Aadhaar e-KYC
3. Complete the online artisan registration form
4. Upload required documents (Aadhaar Card, Voter ID, proof of occupation, bank details, etc.)
5. Submit the application and receive a tracking ID
Implementation and Impact
The scheme is being implemented nationwide with the active support of state governments. In Jammu and Kashmir, the scheme's implementation has been particularly noteworthy, with the MSME DFO Jammu playing a crucial role. They have nominated district-wise officers, conducted regular follow-up meetings, and organized seminars to create awareness about the scheme throughout the region.
The State Level Screening Committee in J&K has been holding timely meetings to clear applications and extend benefits to artisans. The MSME DFO Jammu is processing applications at Stage 3 on a daily basis from all 20 districts of J&K, ensuring timely responses to queries and efficient implementation.
Future Outlook
The PM Vishwakarma Scheme aims to benefit 5 lakh families in its first year and 3 million families over its five-year duration. This ambitious goal reflects the government's commitment to large-scale artisan empowerment and economic development.
The Indian government also plans to launch a specialized mobile application for the scheme, which will further enhance accessibility and user experience for beneficiaries. This app will provide a convenient platform for artisans to register, monitor their application status, and access scheme information.