MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday said 5,000 clusters for artisans can be started under the SFURTI scheme by fast-tracking the approval processes and reducing red-tape.
The ministry is implementing the Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) with an aim to organise traditional industries and artisans into clusters to make them competitive and increase their income.
Under the scheme, it provides support for creating infrastructure through Common Facility Centres, procurement of new machineries, creating raw material banks and improved packaging.
The minister said there is a need to step up the pace of formation of such clusters, "since only 82 of the 371 announced so far are actually functional, and a target of 5,000 clusters is easily achievable if red-tape can be reduced."
He asked the ministry officials to look into the issues and address problems to start the remaining clusters which are not operational.
The minister was speaking after inaugurating 50 artisan-based SFURTI clusters spread over 18 states.
In these 50 clusters, over 42,000 artisans have been supported in the traditional segments of muslin, khadi, coir, handicraft, handlooms, wood craft, leather, pottery, carpet weaving, bamboo, agro processing and tea.
The ministry has provided funds of around Rs 85 crore for development of these 50 clusters.
Gadkari also said a web portal is also required, on the lines of Amazon or Alibaba, to market these products effectively, both in India and abroad.
As on date, there are 371 clusters which have been funded by the ministry with a total assistance of Rs 888 crore.
Gadkari further said the government is looking to increase the share of MSME sector in the country's GDP to 40 per cent from the current 30 per cent and share of exports to about 60 per cent from 48 per cent.
"We want to create 5 crore new jobs in the next five years in MSME," he told reporters here.
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