Working towards achieving the target of nationwide development and setting examples of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, Union Minister for MSME & Road Transport & Highways, Shri Nitin Gadkari inaugurated 50 artisan-based new SFURTI clusters, spread over 18 States. In the 50 clusters inaugurated today, over 42,000 artisans have been supported in the traditional segments of muslin, khadi, coir, handicraft, handlooms, woodcraft, leather, pottery, carpet weaving, bamboo, agro-processing, tea, etc. The Ministry of MSME, Govt. of India has funded an amount of around Rs.85 crore for the development of these 50 clusters. The Ministry of MSME is implementing a Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) with a view to organizing traditional industries and artisans into clusters to make them competitive and increase their income.
With these 50 new SFURTI clusters, the total number of Clusters across India have become 371, while inaugurating these new clusters, Shri Nitin Gadkari congratulated the ministry as well as, he unleashed a massive target of achieving the figure of 5000 clusters across India.
Inaugurating the clusters, Shri Gadkari said more research needs to be done on what kind of village products are required by the consumers, and how to attractively design and market these products. He suggested that the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad may be approached to improve the design and attractiveness of traditional products. A web portal is also required, on the lines of Amazon or Alibaba, to market these products effectively, both in India and abroad, he added.
In addition to his congratulatory remarks, Shri Gadkari also informed about a challenging equation that only 82 of the 371 clusters announced so far are actually functional, he said, “The priority for us is to ensure maximum possible functionality of these clusters, at the same time we have also set the target of developing 5000 SFURTI clusters acros India. We are working aggressively towards achieving this target.”
The clusters were inaugurated in presence of Minister of State, MSME, Shri Pratap Chandra Sarangi, Secretary MSME, Shri B.B. Swain, Members of Parliament, local MLAs, and senior officers of the Ministry of MSME. “The actual success of Aatmanirbhar Bharat will be achieved through the socio-economic development of rural parts of India. Through PM Modi’s vision, we have set standards for holistic development and SFURTI clusters are an important milestone in this direction,” commented Shri Pratap Chandra Sarangi, “The formation of the clusters builds the confidence of traditional craftsmen, and it is part of the government’s strategy of keeping villages at the core of the economic policy. “
These clusters have been inaugurated in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal
About SFURTI Program
As on date, there are 371 numbers of Clusters which have are being funded by the Ministry, supporting 2.18 lakh artisans with total Government assistance of Rs. 888 cr. More than Rs.708 crore has been the budgetary allocation under the scheme, of which more than Rs.567 crore has been released for the implementation of the scheme so far. These clusters are spread all over the country covering 248 districts. The Ministry aims to support at least 1 cluster in each district in the coming period.
Presently various sectors covered under the scheme and the number of clusters are as follows:
|Main Sectors||Handicrafts||Coir||Bamboo||Honey||Food Processing||Khadi||Others||Total|
SFURTI clusters are of two types i.e., Regular Cluster (500 artisans) with Government assistance of up to Rs.2.5 crore and Major Cluster (more than 500 artisans) with Government assistance up to Rs.5 crore. The artisans are organized into SPVs which can be (i) a Society registered under Societies (Registration) Act, 1860, (ii) a Co-operative Society under an appropriate statute, (iii) a Producer Company under Section 465 (1) of Companies Act, 2013 (18 of 2013), (iv) a Section 8 Company under the Companies Act, 2013 (18 of 2013) or (v) a Trust.
Under the Scheme, the Ministry supports various interventions including setting up of infrastructure through Common Facility Centers (CFCs), procurement of new machineries, creating raw material banks, design intervention, improved packaging, improvement of marketing Infrastructure, improved skills and capacity development through training and exposure visits, etc. Besides, the scheme focuses on strengthening the cluster governance systems with the active participation of the stakeholders, so that they are able to gauge the emerging challenges and opportunities and respond to them through building innovative and traditional skills, improved technologies, advanced processes, market intelligence and new models of public-private partnerships, so as to gradually replicate similar models of cluster-based traditional Industries.