The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today, approved a new central sector scheme – “PM Vishwakarma”. The scheme, which was announced by the PM in his Independence Day speech on Tuesday, will benefit 30 lakh craftsmen and their families by giving them collateral-free loans at a subsidised rate of interest, Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said.
The scheme, with a financial outlay of Rs 13,000 crore for a period of five years until 2028, will cover 18 traditional trades in the first instance, he added.
“Under the PM Vishwakarma scheme, artisans and craftspeople will be provided recognition through PM Vishwakarma certificates, ID cards, credit support upto Rs 1 lakh (in the first tranche) and Rs 2 lakh (in the second tranche) with a concessional interest rate of 5%. The scheme will further provide skill upgradation, toolkit incentive, incentive for digital transactions, and marketing support,” the Centre said in a statement.
Those covered in the first instance under “PM Vishwakarma” include carpenters, boat makers, blacksmiths, locksmiths, goldsmiths, potters, sculptors, cobblers, and masons, among others.
In the meeting, the CCEA also greenlit the “PM-eBus Sewa” under which 10,000 e-buses will be added to the country’s fleet and operations will be supported for 10 years, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said.
“10,000 e-buses will be deployed in 169 cities and infrastructure will be upgraded in 181 cities under the Green Urban Mobility Initiatives,” Mr Thakur said.
“The cabinet has approved the “PM-eBus Sewa” to augment city bus operations by 10,000 e-buses on a Private-Public Partnership model. The scheme would have an estimated cost of Rs 57,613 crore, of which support of Rs 20,000 crore will be provided by the central government. The scheme will support bus operations for 10 years,” he added.
The scheme will generate 45,000 to 55,000 direct jobs through the deployment of around 10,000 buses in city bus operations, an official statement said.
The scheme has two segments – one to augment the city bus services and the other to develop infra under the Green Urban Mobility Initiatives which envisages green initiatives like bus priority, infrastructure, and multimodal interchange facilities among other things, the Centre said.
“Under the scheme, states/cities will be responsible for running the bus services and making payments to the bus operators. The central government will support these bus operations by providing a subsidy,” the statement said.
The PM-eBus Sewa will boost e-mobility, the Centre said.