KVIB needs focus

Setting up of Khadi and Village Industries Board is actually the outcome of the Gandhian concept of promoting traditional indigenous industries in the country and reducing dependence on large industries which call for huge investments. This was the sum and substance of Gandhiji’s swadeshi movement.With this fundamental concept of swadeshi movement, the Government of India, after due consideration, widened the scope especially when the villages of India were made the epicenter of its various schemes.
In our State, J&K Khadi & Village Industries Board (KVIB) is a wing of the Department of Industries and Commerce. The Board has been established under an Act of the Legislative Assembly and the rules and regulations governing its functioning have been set forth in the Act. Although, the Board has set up various centers in the districts of the State, yet an overall appraisal reveals that these centers have not been functioning properly and not only that even the authorities are showing scant interest in making all the centers functional. The situation has come to a pass that three KVI centers are under the threat of closure because of their non functional status. Three sub offices of the KVIB at Billawar in district Kathua, Nowshera in Rajouri district and Beerwah in Budgam have been virtually closed down. The reason is shortage of manpower, paucity of funds and lack of field work. The fact is that under the provisions of the Act, the KVI Board has to meet quarterly to take stock of functionality of various centers.  But, it is nearly three years that the Board has not met for one or the other reason. Naturally, it adversely impacts the functionality of the organization. The main reason for dysfunction of some of the centers is lack of publicity and awareness among the people of the real purpose and scope of the KVI organization. It has to be said that the Government has not made any serious attempt of giving due publicity to the aims and objectives of the KVI enterprise and its benefits that would accrue to the rural people of the State. There have not been seminars and awareness meetings in any part of the State. There is no publicity given to the aims and objectives of the organization. Moreover, the people have not been pulled out of a wrong conception that KVI is confined to the production and use of Khadi textiles only. The Government has sanctioned just four lakh rupees for publicity purposes which are nothing more than peanuts. What publicity can be made with this paltry sum? KVIB workers are worst sufferers of apathy and neglect while the Board members are siphoning off benefits and perks to their relatives and close friends.
It needs to be mentioned that the KVIB has far wider agenda and powers than what meets the eye. This agenda is set forth by the Government of India. KVIB under Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) is providing loans to the educated unemployed youth up to Rs 25 lakh for setting up their own industrial units and establish business, workshops, Agro, Food, Textiles and Forest based industries. In service industry also, the KVIB offers handsome loan to the youth and provides subsidy to the limit of 30 to 35 per cent. Mineral based and handmade paper/ fiber products units, too, have great scope for the J&K youth. Even those having qualification of just middle pass (8th) can also avail loan benefit up to Rs 10 lakh under PMEGP. This is what the Board is mandated to do. People are not aware of it and as such do not derive any benefit. Maybe, the bigwigs in the Board deliberately do not want to publicize the wider facilities the Board is supposed to extend to deserving youth.
In such a situation, the Government has to address the shortcomings that have crept into the organization. First of all, the Board has to be constituted along stipulated rules and it must meet for quarterly meetings regularly throughout the year; adequate manpower has to be provided to the organization and with that periodical monitoring of its performance has tobe ensured. Lastly and perhaps more importantly, the banks have to be advised to facilitate the work of the Board by adopting sympathetic and helpful attitude towards the consumers for whose loans have been recommended by the KVIB.


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