Govt plans corpus fund for SC/ST entrepreneurs
Dr J Geeta Reddy says proactive initiatives by the govt helped many dalit businessmen Hyderabad: Minister for Major Industries Dr J Geeta Reddy on...
Dr J Geeta Reddy says proactive initiatives by the govt helped many dalit businessmen Hyderabad: Minister for Major Industries Dr J Geeta Reddy on Wednesday said that the State government was looking to create a corpus fund for supporting and encouraging entrepreneurs from SC/ST communities. "Maharashtra government is setting up a corporation with a corpus fund of Rs 700 crore for investments in small and medium enterprises started by dalit entrepreneurs. In addition, a venture capital fund of Rs 500 core has come up in private sector for the same purpose. Our government is trying to create a trust on the same line with corpus fund to support dalit entrepreneurs in terms of collateral security," the Minister said, while delivering inaugural address at the industrial motivation campaign to promote entrepreneurship among SC/STs organized by CII Andhra Pradesh in association with Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI) here. However, she did not disclose what would be the size of the fund that the State government intended to create for this purpose. Pointing out that major challenge faced by dalit entrepreneurs was the finance, Dr Reddy said her government had initiative several measures to help the SC/ST entrepreneurs overcome this major hurdle." The government is offering 35 per cent investment subsidy on fixed capital investment for MSMEs with a maximum limit per unit of Rs 50 lakh. Besides, there is an additional subsidy of five per cent for women entrepreneurs," she explained. The Minister further claimed that the proactive initiatives undertaken by the government in the past decade were bearing fruit. "During 2001-02 to 2004-05, only 178 SC entrepreneurs and 141 from ST communities had availed subsidies. But during 2011-12, a whopping 2,639 units owned by SCs and 612 units owned by STs availed the subsidies to the tune of Rs 156.74 crore," she said. Jayesh Ranjan, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, APIIC, who delivered keynote address, said his corporation was allotting 22.5 per cent of the plots in all industrial estates in the State to SC/ST entrepreneurs. "Besides, we are also helping them in obtaining loans and financial support from various institutions and banks. Our endeavour is to provide extensive support to the entrepreneurs from SC/ST background," he added. Milind Kamble, Chairman, DICCI, said that his industry body had been encouraging new wave of entrepreneurship among dalit youth across the country. "DICCI which has over 3000 members across the country has set up Rs 500-crore venture capital fund to encourage first generation dalit entrepreneurs in the country. It is the high time for dalit youth to move from job seekers to job creaters," he said. The industry body's main objective is to create business leaders from dalit communities, he added. "Like in Europe and the US, industrialization will also eliminate caste system and economic disparities among communities in India," Kamble said.