Centre to create 2.5 lakh Dalit entrepreneurs soon 

Centre to create 2.5 lakh Dalit entrepreneurs soon 
Highlights

About 2.5 lakh scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST) entrepreneurs would be created under the Centre\'s \'Stand Up India\' initiative, Union Minister for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Kalraj Mishra has said.

Mumbai : About 2.5 lakh scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST) entrepreneurs would be created under the Centre's 'Stand Up India' initiative, Union Minister for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Kalraj Mishra has said.

"Under Stand-up India initiative, each of the 1.25 lakh bank branches would be encouraged to fund a SC/ST and woman entrepreneurs to create 2.5 lakh new entrepreneurs in the country," Mishra said at the inauguration of the fifth National Industrial & Trade Fair organised by Dalit Indian Chamber Commerce & Industry (DICCI) here on Friday.

There would be a special support structure for innovation based start-ups, including funding from the government. "The government will unveil a blue-print for startups to ease the process of setting up new venture very shortly," he said. Mishra observed that availability of adequate credit was always a major issue and his ministry has taken several initiatives to address the challenges.

"The ministry is implementing major schemes like Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), a credit-linked subsidy programme for creation of employment in both rural and urban area of the country. PMEGP is providing relaxation to SC/ST beneficiaries," the Minister said.
"For urban SC/ST beneficiaries, margin money subsidy is provided at 25 per cent of the project cost while it is 35 per cent in rural areas," he added.

The Minister also said that DICCI has been encouraging and facilitating Dalit enterprise as a means of empowerment and also ensuring that the community contributes in the economy, and be the "job givers, not job seekers". On the occasion, Minister for Heavy Industries Anant Geete said that there is a promising road ahead for Dalit entrepreneurs.

"As many as 292 PSUs (public sector enterprises) in India have been mandated to procure 20 per cent of their requirements from MSME sector. Of this, 4 per cent has to be from Dalit enterprises, which translates into a sizable market" he said. Earlier, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis inaugurated the Trade Fair and stressed on the need of empowerment of SC/ST entrepreneurs.

The fair has 350 stalls, including 30 stalls belonging to the central PSUs. Seminars on MSE procurement policy, business-to-business meetings, buyer-seller meetings are being organised on themes important for entrepreneurs, in addition to programmes designed to promote business opportunities and capacity-building.

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