Develop SFURTI clusters in JK on fast-track basis: Secy RDD

Jammu: With an aim to boost rural livelihood, Secretary Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Sheetal Nanda today called for the effective implementation and identification of rural clusters under the Scheme of Funds for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) at Panchayat levels on a fast-track basis.
The meeting was attended by the representatives of KVIB, KVIC, Director Rural Development, Jammu, Sudharshan Kumar, Director Panchayats, Mohammad Rafi, Additional Secretary to Government, Department of RD & PR, Rakesh Kumar Badyal, COO HImayat, Kapil Sharma.
The scheme aims to make the traditional industries more productive and competitive, to enhance the marketability of products by design intervention and improved packaging and marketing infrastructure, to provide quality infrastructure support to industries/artisans to meet customer expectations.
During the meeting, the Secretary exhorted upon the officers to identify four clusters in Jammu and Kashmir divisions, with two clusters in each division, before the same scheme is rolled out in the entire J&K.
The meeting was informed that the scheme provides for two types of clusters: Regular Clusters and Major Clusters. While the former cluster comprising 100 members will be allocated a budget of Rs. 1.75 crore, the major cluster consisting of 500 members will be allocated a budget of Rs. 5 crore.
While delineating the objectives of the scheme, the Secretary said that the programme marks a paradigm shift from a supply-driven selling model to a market-driven model. “Under the scheme, the artisans should be asked to establish only those trades which have a niche in the market.”
For more market-related assistance, the representatives of KVIC informed the meeting that finished products produced by the artisans associated with the scheme will be marketed through sales stores of KVICs in J&K, Delhi, Maharashtra et al.
Nanda further instructed the officers to launch intense awareness and capacity-building programmes to make the rural masses cognisant of the scheme.
The scheme aims to organise the traditional industries and artisans into clusters to make them competitive and provide support for their long term sustainability and economy of scale. The scheme also envisages equipping traditional artisans of the associated clusters with improved skills and capabilities through training and exposure visits.