Union Minister of Petroleum and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan has said that the government has gone beyond providing scholarships and reservations for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and is empowering them to become entrepreneurs.
Addressing the Special National Vendor Development Programme in Petroleum and Steel sectors for SC/ST Entrepreneurs in New Delhi today, Mr Pradhan said, inspired by the vision of Dr B R Ambedkar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has worked with the spirit of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of SC/ST community, disadvantaged sections of the society and minorities.
Mr Pradhan said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has envisioned that the SC and ST community should become the owners of businesses and be job creators instead of just being job seekers. He added that under the leadership of Mr Modi, India is establishing a new model of affirmative action for the world.
Speaking about Government’s various efforts towards welfare of SC/ST communities, Mr Pradhan said, Government has come up with 100 lakh crore rupees worth of National Infrastructure Pipeline. He said, Government has made a plan to open 75 thousand petrol pumps, out of which 20 thousand have been reserved for the SC/ST brothers and sisters. He said, more than 17 thousand LOIs have already been given to them and work has begun for putting up 3600 Retail Outlets.
The Minister said, out of over 8 crore Ujjwala connections, over 3 crore connections have been handed over to the SC/ST families. Mr Pradhan said, various Ministries have ensured hand-holding of SC/ST entrepreneurs to make Stand-Up India initiative, a success. He said that government has simplified procedures, established policies, worked with all stakeholders to support the entrepreneurial spirit of SC/ST brothers and sisters and to ensure new entrepreneurs are not at a disadvantage. He said that the Government has ensured that PSUs procure at least 25 per cent of their requirements from the MSMEs and banks have been targets to lend to start-ups, giving impetus to entrepreneurial spirit among the disadvantaged sections of the society.