About 2.5 lakh SC/ST entrepreneurs would be created under the Centre's Stand Up India initiative, Union Minister for MSME (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) Kalraj Mishra has said.
"Under Stand-up India initiative, each of the 1.25 lakh bank branches would be encouraged to fund a SC/ST and woman entrepreneurs to create 2.5 lakh new entrepreneurs in the country," Mishra said at the inauguration of the 5th National Industrial & Trade Fair organised by Dalit Indian Chamber Commerce & Industry (DICCI) here today.
There would be a special support structure for innovation based start-ups, including funding from the government.
"The government will unveil a blue print for start-ups to ease the process of setting up new venture very shortly," he said.
Mishra observed that availability of adequate credit was always a major issue and his ministry has taken several initiatives to address the challenges.
"The ministry is implementing major schemes like Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), a credit- linked subsidy programme for creation of employment in both rural and urban area of the country. PMEGP is providing relaxation to SC/ST beneficiaries.
"For urban SC/ST beneficiaries, margin money subsidy is provided at 25 per cent of the project cost while it is 35 per cent in rural areas," he said.
The minister also said that the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry has been encouraging and facilitating Dalit enterprise as a means of empowerment and also ensuring that the community contributes in the economy, and be the 'job givers, not job seekers'.
On the occasion, Minister for Heavy Industries Anant Geete said there is a promising road ahead for Dalit entrepreneurs.
"As many as 292 PSUs in India have been mandated to procure 20 per cent of their requirements from MSME sector. Of this, 4 per cent has to be from Dalit enterprises, which translates into a sizable market" he said.
Earlier, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis inaugurated the Trade Fair and stressed on the need of empowerment of SC/ST entrepreneurs.
The fair has 350 stalls, including 30 stalls belonging to the Central PSUs. Seminars on MSE procurement policy, B2B meetings, buyer-seller meetings are being organised on themes important for entrepreneurs, in addition to programmes designed to promote business opportunities and capacity- building.