MSME Minister urges key stakeholders to come together to boost the Khadi sector

The Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and Road Transport and Highways, Shri Nitin Gadkari has said that the Government has taken up a mission-mode project of creating 5 crore jobs in 5 years in the MSME sector. He said that the Government has decided to take the proportion of MSME exports to 50% and to increase the GDP contribution of the MSME sector from 29% to 50% in the next 5 years. The Minister said this while addressing a business summit “Globalizing the Brand Khadi: The Pride of India”, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in Mumbai today.

Addressing the gathering of industry and other stakeholders, the Union MSME Minister, Shri Nitin Gadkari also said: “A distinction is often made between India and Bharat. There are many problems in villages due to which people migrate from villages to cities in search of jobs. We need to stop this phenomenon; we want that people do not have to come to cities due to lack of jobs. This would happen when we are able to provide good roads, schools, hospitals, farm revenue and economic viability for occupations in rural areas. This is why Gandhiji used to say that we need maximum production with the involvement of maximum number of people. Along with modernization and mechanization, we need to look at employment opportunities as well. Innovation, entrepreneurship, science, technology, research and skill generate knowledge, which needs to be converted into wealth.”

The Minister said we need to strengthen the Khadi sector, the turnover of Khadi and village sector needs to be further increased; a large segment of the population is dependent on this.

Shri Gadkari informed that his Ministry is in talks with the Ministry of Railways to serve tea in kulhads made of terracotta. “Currently, this is available in two stations; I have written to the Railway Minister and to the Transport Ministers of all states to make these kulhads mandatory in all bus stations and railway stations,” He said.

Shri Gadkari further said that Khadi is the soul of Gandhiji’s thinking. Without compromising with its principles, we need to modernize Khadi – in product design, fashion design, weaving and other processes. New research needs to be incorporated and adopted. In particular, we need to look at how we can make better quality and low-cost yarn than what is made in the mills. There is a need for professional approach in fashion design, so as to improve quality of Khadi products.

MSME Minister urges key stakeholders to come together to boost the Khadi sector

The Minister called upon enterprising people in the private sector to come forward to promote Khadi. “This is not difficult from the point of view of technology and quality,” he said; “if we receive good inputs from industry, the brand Khadi can be made world-famous. Consumer choices have changed; this summit aims to garner industry cooperation in increasing the brand value and market value of Khadi.”

Shri Gadkari further said that as the facilitator, the Government is working on policies to promote growth. The government will provide support in measures such as reducing cost of capital, in bringing in mechanization and modernization, and in reducing logistics and power costs.

He said the Government is developing an e-market portal like Alibaba, by the name of Bharat Craft. This will provide a direct interface between buyers and sellers. We are also launching a Bank of Ideas and Innovations.

“The government is transparent, corruption-free, and trying to fast-track decision making. We seek your cooperation and suggestions in taking Khadi forward and in providing employment to maximum number of people. There is huge potential which can be unleashed using research and technology. As per Gandhiji’s dream, we need maximum production with involvement of maximum number of rural people. We need to ensure the presence of Khadi in every nation and take it to every corner of the world. We hope to achieve this with your cooperation”.