With eye on OBC votes, BJP banks on PM Vishwakarama scheme in Odisha
Special focus will be given to tribal areas where people mostly women are engaged in large number in leaf plate making, broom making and bamboo handicrafts.
BHUBANESWAR: As the Opposition demand for caste census and 27 per cent reservation for other backward classes (OBCs) in government jobs and higher education including medical and engineering has not got due attention from the state government, the BJP is planning to get best out of the PM Vishwakarma Yojana to be launched on September 17.
Keeping an eye on the OBC votes which constitute about 52 per cent of the total electorate in the state, the saffron party has asked its district units to identify as many traditional artisans and craftsmen as they can for credit support under the scheme.
With 827 zilla parishads, the mandate for the district units is to select at least 100 craftsmen each who will be provided recognition through PM Vishwakarma certificate and ID card for credit support. As per the scheme, Rs 1 lakh credit support will be provided to people who are still engaged in the family-based practice of traditional skills in the first tranche and another Rs 2 lakh in the second tranche with a concessional interest rate of five per cent.
“This has been discussed elaborately at a meeting chaired by state BJP president Monmohan Samal here and accordingly, instruction has been given to district presidents for the selection of artisans and craftsmen through block committees. It will not be difficult to select 100 traditional craftsmen in a Mandal as every village has a carpenter, mason, potter, blacksmith, goldsmith, barber, washermen, tailor, and weaver,” said state BJP OBC Morcha president Surath Biswal.
Since this scheme has the provision for skill upgradation, toolkit incentive, incentive for digital transactions and marketing support, the village artisans will find the offer hard to resist, he said.
Special focus will be given to tribal areas where people mostly women are engaged in large numbers in leaf plate making, broom making and bamboo handicrafts.
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the scheme in virtual mode from New Delhi, state leaders of the party have been assigned specific districts to monitor the programme, he added.