SHILLONG, Feb 22 - The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) today said that project approvals, under the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) in the North East are one of the lowest in the country.
Over the past several years the ratio between the target and the achievement for sanctioning the projects has gone down. For example, during the period 2018-19 up to February 2019, the total achievement in sanctioning the projects was a meagre 21.30 per cent.
As a result of this poor project approval rate, just 18.66 per cent unemployed youth were able to start their ventures. Under the PMEGP, Rs 10 lakh is sanctioned for starting a service centre and Rs 25 lakh for a manufacturing centre.
Out of this amount 35 per cent is a direct subsidy, 60 per cent comes as soft loan and the prospective entrepreneur must invest from his or her end just five per cent.
Assistant Director KVIC, Vikram Khandekar said that across India there has been 100 per cent success in terms of sanctioning the projects over the past years, but different factors has resulted in the poor sanctioning in the region.
“Non Performing Assets are one of the biggest factors because of which banks are reluctant in sanctioning the projects. Moreover, poor Internet connectivity in the region is one of the other factors,” Khandekar said.
KVIC now only accepts project proposals online and this has affected PMEGP. In many areas of the North East the people, especially in the rural areas, don’t have access to a dedicated Internet connection.
“Moreover, many people don’t have Pan and Aadhar cards, which are important documents that have to be submitted together with the projects and also people are reluctant to come forward to the banks when called,” General Manager, District Commerce and Industries Centre, East Khasi Hills, S Majaw said.
However, officials told The Assam Tribune that some of the projects that are listed under the PMEGP are just not viable for the region and so youths hesitate to come forward.
“We have been asking the KVIC to include projects under tourism and betel nut for the region, but still these projects are not included in the list,” an official said.
Moreover, meat processing is not included in the list as KVIC follows the “Gandhian principle.” But recently there have been some changes and now servicing of meat like in a Dhaba has been included.
“We are trying to include meat processing in the list of projects that can be approved and we are trying similar projects that would be attractive for the youths of the region,” Khandekar said.