Gadkari inaugurates 50 artisan-based SFURTI clusters in 18 States
By TIOL News Service
GUWAHATI, FEB 23, 2021: MINISTER for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Mr Nitin Gadkari on Monday inaugurated 50 SFURTI clusters, supporting over 42,000 artisans across 18 States, built at a cost of around Rs. 85 crore.
The Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) is being implemented with the aim to organise traditional industries and artisans into clusters to make them competitive and increase their income.
Inaugurating the clusters, Mr Gadkari said that the need is to step-up the pace of formation of such clusters since only 82 of the 371 announced so far are actually functional.
"A target 5,000 clusters is easily achievable if red-tape can be reduced," he added.
He also called for more research to look into the packaging and marketing of the products to make them more appealing to consumers.
Along those lines, he suggested a partnership with the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad to look at the packaging and the formation of an e-commerce marketplace to market these products domestically and internationally.
Minister of State for MSME Mr Pratap Chandra Sarangi said the formation of the clusters build the confidence of traditional craftsmen and is part of the government's strategy of keeping villages at the core of their economic policy.
The ministry has established 371 clusters which are supporting 2.18 lakh artisans with a total government assistance of Rs. 888 crore across 248 districts. Under the scheme, it provides support for creating infrastructure through Common Facility Centres, procurement of new machineries, creating raw material banks, design intervention and improved packaging.
The clusters on Monday were inaugurated in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.