Editorial: Invalid entity

The Khadi and Village Industries Board (JKKVIB) just a day back said that is has sponsored 1697 cases involving financial assistance to the tune Rs. 30.65 crore. The board also took credit of surpassing its target of finalizing 593 cases fixed under the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) for the current fiscal.

The Board which is tasked with promoting Industry at the cottage and micro level claimed that 741 cases involving Margin Money outlay of Rs. 14.10 crore and envisaging employment opportunities for 5500 persons have been sanctioned with some 314 of them involving Margin Money of Rs. 6.15 crore having been disbursed so far.

It also claimed that during the 2016-17 fiscal financial assistance to the tune of Rs. 14 crore was released in favor of some 840 unit holders against a target of 324 units involving financial assistance of Rs. 6.5 crore.

The KVIB’s effort to provide financial assistance to the young entrepreneurs is a welcome step, but as far as the board’s own progress is concerned it seems to be headed for regression.

The board which has decided to establish a District Office at Shopian, however, cannot explain as to why its non functional offices at Billawar, Nowshera in Jammu division and Beerwah in Kashmir are lying defunct since long.

More so, the Board even failed to organize its Board of Directors (BOD), meet in three years. The meeting was held in Srinagar the other day with many decisions taken that seem to be hard hitting for the burden laden KVIB.  

The board which sees for itself a mush widened role has to improve its performance in leaps and bounds. In view of the poor publicity and expenditure of just meager amount on the awareness campaigns every year, majority of the unemployed educated youth of the State are unaware of its many programmes and benefits being provided to the general public under KVIB schemes.

Even at the district level hardly any publicity or an awareness camp is being conducted by the KVIB authorities. Majority of the beneficiaries of the programme are either the relatives of the Board staff or the people having some knowledge about the KVIB sponsored programmes.

What is shocking is that the the State Government has kept an amount of just Rs 4 lakh annually for the publicity and organizing awareness camps in all the 22 districts of the State. With this meager amount, it is not possible to hold good number of camps in all the districts of the State.

Such camps are needed to be organised at Tehsil and Sub Division level so that educated unemployed youth across the State could be made aware of the assistance provided by the KVIB to set up industrial units or establishments and run small business and service units as well.

The KVIB under Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) is providing loans to the educated unemployed youth up to Rs 25 lakh for setting up their own industrial units and establish business, workshops, Agro, Food, Textiles and Forest based industries. In service industry also, the KVIC offers handsome loan to the youth and provides subsidy to the limit of 30 to 35 %. Mineral based and handmade paper/ fiber products units too, have great scope for the J&K youth. Even those having qualification of just Middle pass (8th) can too avail loan benefit up to Rs 10 lakhs under PMEGP.

This makes the KVIBN all the more relevant in today’s set up where unemployment is galore. However, what is needed is a serious approach of the government to make the KVIB a relevant and functional unit. 

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