Union Road Transport and MSME has approved the proposal for employment generation program of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) to make the country self-sufficient in incense sticks production. The commission has proposed to make India self-sufficient in incense sticks production through manufactured machines and trained workers in the country. This program, named ‘Khadi Agarbatti Self-reliant Mission’, aims to help the artisans and the local agarbatti industry by creating employment for unemployed and migrant laborers in different parts of the country.
Gujarat agarbatti manufacturer and importer Milan Mansukh Dudani said, Earlier, the Center made two big decisions for the agarbatti sector to help the domestic industry. While it was brought under the category of restricted trade from free trade, the import duty on round thin wood made of bamboo used for making incense sticks was increased from 10 percent to 25 percent. KVIC chairman Vinay Kumar Saxena said that both the decisions of the central government are creating large scale employment in the agarbatti industry.
The government banned the import of incense sticks and similar products in August last year. The move was taken on reports of increasing imports from countries such as China and Vietnam. In the last fiscal year 2019-20, imports of incense sticks and aromatic substances during April-June were $ 1775 million. In 2018-19, it was $ 8.358 million.
The country currently consumes about 1,490 tonnes of incense sticks, while the production in the country is only 760 tonnes per day. To meet the demand, imports are mainly from China and Vietnam. The plan will initially be launched on a pilot basis. Giving information about this, KVIC Chairman Vinay Kumar Saxena said, “100% of the machines used in the production of incense sticks have been imported from Vietnam.” Under the scheme, KVIC has purchased only the machines manufactured by Indian manufacturers. Have decided. This will boost production locally.
What is the whole plan
Under the scheme, KVIC will provide artisans and powder mixing machines to artisans for making incense sticks. All this will be done through private agarbatti manufacturers who will sign the agreement as trading partners. KVIC will provide 25 percent subsidy on the cost of the machine and 75 percent amount from the artisans every month as easy installment. Saxena said that the pilot project for the program will start this month. The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) said, ‘The business partner will be responsible for the supply of raw materials to the artisans, logistics, quality control and marketing of the final product. After recovering 75 percent of the cost, the ownership of the machines will automatically go to the artisans. ‘
In this context, KVIC and private agarbatti manufacturers will sign a two-party agreement to successfully run the project under public-private partnership. The cost for training of artisans will be shared between KVIC and Private Business Partnership. In this, the commission will bear 75 percent of the cost while the business partner will pay 25 percent. According to the ministry, 80 kg of incense sticks can be made daily from each automatic agarbatti making machine. This will provide direct employment to four people. Apart from this, a powder mixing machine will be provided on five agarbatti machines. This will provide employment to two people. Wages to artisans will be paid by the trade partner on a weekly basis.
How will workers benefit
This remuneration will be paid directly to their account through direct benefit transfer. Currently, the artisans are paid at the rate of Rs 15 per kg. According to this, 80 kg of incense sticks will earn Rs 1,200 per day. With this, each artisan will get at least 300 rupees per day. Similarly, artisans working on a powder mixing machine will get Rs 250 per day. According to the ministry, the proposal was submitted to the MSME ministry for approval last month. The pilot project will start soon. Thousands of jobs will be created by the full implementation of the project. ‘