BHUBANESWAR: The khadi industry in Odisha is all set to look up in the ensuing financial year. Not only that, the sector will create job avenues for 25,000 persons and have over 450 more showrooms.
Plans have been mooted by the Odisha Khadi and Village Industries Board (OK&VIB) for more financial infusion and revival of defunct artisan cooperative societies to create self-employment opportunities.
Despite reasonable demand for khadi products in local and national markets, the local artisans are unable to reap profits in the absence of proper marketing linkage. To address this, the Board has decided to open 462 khadi showrooms in the State in the next one year. This would include one each in every block and NAC and five in each civic body-run Government market complexes.
OK&VIB Chairman Nagendra Pradhan told this paper that the State Government had earlier directed collectors of all districts to provide space for setting up khadi sales outlets at district headquarters.
He added that in the 2012-13 fiscal, the Board has decided to enlist 100 new khadi cooperative societies to undertake khadi and village industry-related activities for providing employment to 25,000 persons.
“Funding for this will be done by both Khadi & Villages Industries Commission (KVIC) and OK&VIB. Till date of the 39 proposals received, 22 have been forwarded to KVIC for issuance of new khadi certificates,” he said.
The State Government has also roped in the Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar (XIMB) to conduct a study on defunct khadi societies. While ` 15 lakh has been sanctioned for the purpose, more will be allocated after the XIMB submits its report. At present, there are 40 OK&VIB-aided khadi societies in the State which employ 11,000 spinners and weavers. For these weavers and spinners, the KVIC has introduced Marketing Development Assistance (MDA) scheme. Under the scheme, subsidy will be given directly to production units and 25 per cent of the profit they earn will go to the weavers.
This apart, the Gramodyog Sales Depot at Kharavel Nagar here will be revived to provide marketing support to khadi artisans. The State Government has provided Rs 10 lakh for the purpose.
Secretary of the Board Dambarudhar Jena said the MoU between Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) and OK&VIB will be inked soon for construction of a 20-storey exclusive khadi mall on the OK&VIB premises at Kharavela Nagar. IDCO would construct the mall on a turnkey (a project that is constructed by a developer and sold or turned over to a buyer in a ready-to-use condition) basis. After the construction is complete, it will be handed over to the Khadi Board.
“The mall would be completed in two years,” the secretary said.