Deccan Chronicle

Modi launches Rs 13,000 cr PM Vishwakarma scheme

Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs| DC Correspondent

Published on: September 17, 2023 | Updated on: September 17, 2023

PM invites global event management firms to host in India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi travels via metro on his way to inaugurate India International Convention and Expo Centre (IICC), in New Delhi, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023. (PTI Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi travels via metro on his way to inaugurate India International Convention and Expo Centre (IICC), in New Delhi, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023. (PTI Photo)

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched the "PM Vishwakarma" scheme on the occasion of the Vishwakarma Jayanti, under which traditional craftsmen and artisans will be provided loan assistance at a minimal interest rate without the need for collateral.

With a financial outlay of Rs 13,000 crores for a period of five years, the scheme will benefit about 30 lakh families of traditional artisans and craftsmen, including weavers, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, laundry workers, and barbers.

Noting the contribution of the Vishwakarmas in Indian society, Modi said that the Vishwakarmas will always remain significant, no matter the advancements made in technology.

The Prime Minister distributed Vishwakarma certificates to 18 beneficiaries. Beneficiaries will get collateral-free loans of up to Rs 3 lakhs at a concessional rate of 5 per cent. He also released a customised stamp sheet, a toolkit e-booklet and a video on the occasion.

On Sunday, the Prime Minister also inaugurated the newly constructed state-of-the-art convention centre "Yashobhoomi" at Dwarka, in southwest Delhi. On the occasion, Mr Modi invited the film and television industry as well as global event management companies to organise events at Bharat Mandapam and Yashobhoomi.

Built at a cost of Rs 5,400 crore, Phase 1 of the India International Convention and Expo Centre Yashobhoomi has a total built-up area of more than 1.8 lakh square metres and will find its place among the world's largest MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) facilities. It boasts of a magnificent convention centre, multiple exhibition halls and other facilities.

Talking about the future of conference tourism, the Prime Minister said the sector holds immense potential for India and is worth more than Rs 25,000 crores.

Mr Modi highlighted that more than 32,000 big exhibitions and expos are organised in the world every year, where people coming for conference tourism spend more money than ordinary tourists. India's share in such a big industry is only around 1 per cent and many big companies in India go to foreign lands every year to organise their events.

He further emphasised that India is also preparing itself for conference tourism now.

Mr Modi stressed that conference tourism will progress only where there are necessary resources for events, meetings and exhibitions. Therefore, Bharat Mandapam and Yashobhoomi centres are now going to make Delhi the biggest hub of conference tourism. Lakhs of youth are likely to get employment.

In the future, he said, Yashobhoomi will become a place where people from countries all over the world will come for international conferences, meetings and exhibitions.

"Today I invite people associated with the exhibition and event industry from countries around the world to come to Delhi. I will invite the film and TV industries of every region of the country... You hold your award ceremonies and film festivals here... I invite people associated with international event companies and the exhibition sector to join Bharat Mandapam and Yashobhoomi," the Prime Minister said.

At the launch of PM Vishwakarma, Modi underscored the contribution and importance of the Vishwakarmas in the everyday life of the country.

"The government has come forward as a partner to elevate the respect, enhance the capabilities and assist the prosperity of the Vishwakarmas," Modi remarked.

Throwing light on the 18 focus areas of artisans and craftsmen, the Prime Minister informed that carpenters, blacksmiths, goldsmiths, sculptors, potters, cobblers, tailors, masons, hairdressers, washermen, etc. have been included in the PM Vishwakarma scheme and the government will spend Rs 13,000 crores on its implementation.

Referring to the provision of collateral-free finance for the Vishwakarmas, the Prime Minister said that when a guarantee is asked for, I will be your guarantee.

In his address, the Prime Minister also stressed the need to be "vocal for local" and urged people to buy local products, during the upcoming festivities in the country, such as Ganesh Chaturthi, Dhanteras, Deepawali and others.

Mr Modi said the world witnessed the result of the amalgamation of technology and tradition at the G-20 craft bazaar. Even the gifts for the visiting dignitaries comprised products made by traditional artisans and craftsmen.

"This dedication to vocal for local is the responsibility of the entire country," he said, and added, "first we have to be vocal for local and then we will have to take the local global."

Modi expressed confidence that the recently unveiled Bharat Mandapam at Pragati Maidan, where the G-20 summit was held, and Yasobhoomi will become symbols of India's hospitality, superiority and grandeur.

"Both Bharat Mandapam and Yasobhoomi are a confluence of Indian culture and state-of-the-art facilities and these grand establishments express India's story before the world," he said, adding, "Mark my words... India is not going to stop now."

"Our Vishwakarma colleagues are the pride of Make in India and this international convention centre will become a medium to showcase this pride to the world," he said.

Among others, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman; Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, micro, small and medium enterprises minister Narayan Rane and Union Minister for State for micro, small and medium Enterprises Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma were present on the occasion.  

Yashobhoomi is connected to the Delhi Airport Metro Express line with the inauguration of the new metro station -- Yashobhoomi Dwarka Sector 25.

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