In a significant move, the Union Cabinet gave the green light to the PM Vishwakarma scheme, which will benefit around 30 lakh traditional artisans and craftsmen across various professions. This scheme, with a budget of Rs 13,000 crore, aims to empower workers like weavers, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, boat makers, locksmiths, potters, cobblers, and more. The announcement was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day speech.
The PM Vishwakarma scheme offers several key benefits to these artisans. They will receive official recognition through PM Vishwakarma certificates and ID cards. Financial support will also be extended, including credit assistance up to Rs 1 lakh in the initial phase and up to Rs 2 lakh later on, with a reduced interest rate of 5%. The scheme will also offer opportunities for skill enhancement, toolkits, incentives for digital transactions, and marketing aid. The overarching goal is to uplift and strengthen traditional skills, ensuring artisans are linked with both local and global markets.
Communication Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw highlighted that artisans will have access to two types of skill improvement programs – Basic and Advanced. During their training, beneficiaries will receive a stipend of Rs 500 per day. Moreover, they will be granted up to Rs 15,000 to purchase modern tools.
Initially, 18 traditional trades will be covered under the scheme, ranging from carpenters to goldsmiths. Over the course of five years, the program aims to support 30 lakh families, preserving the “Guru-Shishya parampara” of passing down traditional skills from generation to generation.
Additionally, the Cabinet also approved the “PM-eBus Sewa,” a scheme focused on bolstering electric mobility in urban areas. Under this initiative, 10,000 electric buses will be added to the country’s public transportation system, with support provided for a decade. The scheme, estimated at Rs 57,613 crore, aims to generate 45,000 to 55,000 direct jobs through the deployment of e-buses in city bus operations.
Overall, these two schemes – the PM Vishwakarma scheme and the PM-eBus Sewa – underline the government’s commitment to empowering traditional artisans and advancing green urban mobility.