Chief Executive Officer of Karnataka State Khadi and Village Industries Board Jayavibhava Swamy has said the board was chalking out a plan to start e-marketing of khadi products on the lines of e-commerce websites like Amazon and Flipkart.
Addressing a joint press conference with chairman of the board Krishnappa Gowda here on Tuesday, Mr. Swamy said that the plan would be to get the khadi products produced by local khadi workers based on the orders placed through the e-marketing platform. The products would be supplied within seven days of placing the order, he said.
Elaborating on the plans to provide marketing space for khadi products, Mr. Swamy said that a national level ‘Khadi Utsav’ would be organised in Bengaluru for a month after following COVID-19 protocol.
He said that earlier under Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Project (PMEGP), it was planned to extend financial assistance to 888 khadi production and service units. But post the lockdown, the Centre had increased the number of beneficiary units to be covered under the scheme to 1,000, he said.
An assistance of ₹10 lakh would be extended for setting up khadi display and sales shops in urban areas and an assistance of ₹25 lakhsin bigger cities, he said.
He aid that the board was yet to receive grants to the tune of ₹105 crore from the government. Out of it the Finance Department had permitted release of ₹51.49 crore towards the payment of incentives for the period of 2014 to 2019.
Due to the impact of lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions, khadi products worth ₹280 crore had remained unsold leading to distress in khadi units. “There are 207 registered khad production units in Karnataka where nearly 10,000 workers were working. Of them, 85% are women and employees over the age of 60 years are more”, he said.
Mr. Swamy said that considering the fact that the number young weavers and artisans was dwindling, the board had planned to set up training centre for youths where stipend would be provided along with training.
Board chairman Krishnappa Gowda said that to promote khadi products, it had been planned to set up ‘Khadi Urban Plazas’ in Benglauru, Mysuru and Ballari. This apart, district offices would be opened and the CM would be requested to release money towards pending grants to the board in the forthcoming budget, he said.
Mr. Gowda also said that the State government would be requested to increase the incentive to ₹7 per metre and district-level khadi exhibitions would be organised.
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