Union Minister for MSME & Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari this evening inaugurated clusters, spread over 18 States. In the 50 clusters inaugurated today, over 42,000 50 artisan-based SFURTI artisans have been supported in the traditional segments of muslin, khadi, coir, handicraft, handlooms, wood craft, leather, pottery, carpet weaving, bamboo, agro processing, tea, etc.
The Ministry of MSME, Govt. of India has funded an amount of around Rs.85 crore for development of these 50 clusters. The Ministry of MSME is implementing a Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) with a view to organize traditional industries and artisans into clusters to make them competitive and increase their income.
Inaugurating the clusters, Gadkari said more research needs to be done on what kind of village products are required by the consumers, and how to attractively design and market these products.
He suggested that the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad may be approached to improve the design and attractiveness of traditional products. A web portal is also required, on the lines of Amazon or Alibaba, to market these products effectively, both in India and abroad, he added.
The Minister also pointed out the need to step up the pace of formation of such clusters, since only 82 of the 371 announced so far are actually functional, and said a target of 5,000 clusters is easily achievable if red-tape can be reduced.