All About Mission Solar Charkha Scheme
Khadi is just not a part of cloth. It was a metaphor for revolution. Our father of nation “Mahatma Gandhi ” used it to remove un-employment and poverty.
Britishers had overall control of the Indian textile industry before independence. This made the introduction of foreign textiles and mass production in the country. It brought a threat to the local textile economy that included numerous spinners & small weavers.
India’s large section of artisans and weavers were using hand-spun charkhas since independence. These charkhas were consuming more time to process the yarn.
In 2018, the Government planned to boost & improve the sector’s production. They launched the “Solar Charkha Mission”.
It is a business-driven project that foresees the set up of “Solar Charkha clusters”. The scheme aims to cover 200 to 2024 payees. It will include stitchers, spinners, other skilled artisans & weavers.
Let’s discuss all about the Solar Charkha Mission Scheme.
Backdrop of the mission
A trial project called “Solar Charkha” was set up in 2016 at Khanwa village, Nawada District, Bihar. After the success of the trial project, the Government of India accepted the approval of Solar Charkha. They sanctioned the budget of Rs. 550 Cr. to set up 50 clusters for 2018-19 and 2019-20.
The scheme generated direct employment of one lakh people in the approved 50 clusters.
The Ministry of MSME classified the Solar Charkha Unit as a Village industry. Experts rated and approved the standard Solar Charkha that has 10 spindles. After that the ministry finalized the technical particulars after testing many Solar Charkha models.
The scheme was foreseen to establish “Solar Charkha Clusters”. These clusters will benefit focal villages & other villages within the radius of 8-10 Km. In addition, these clusters will include 200-2042 payees.
Each spinner will have two charkhas consisting of 10 spindles in each charkha. It is examined that such clusters will have on an average of about 1000 charkhas. Full capacity clusters will give employment to 2042 artisans directly.
Objective of the scheme
The objective of the scheme is to-
- Ensure comprehensive growth by generating employment for women & youth.
- Sustainable development via clusters of solar charkha in rural areas.’
- Grow rural economy and aid in preventing movement from rural to urban areas.
- Determine low-cost, sustenance process & innovative technologies.
- Build-up an eco-friendly environment by using solar charkhas for power.
- Empower women by linking five crore women under the mission.
- Elevate the cotton industry.
Functions of the scheme
The scheme has three types of functions. They are as follows-
1. Capital Subsidy for SPV or an individual
- 2000 Solar Charkhas at the highest price of Rs. 45,000/- per charkha and an allowance of Rs. 15,750/- per charkha. The calculation will provide 1000 spinners an increased allowance of Rs. 3.15 Cr.
- One unit of two solar charkhas will produce yarn of 2 kg on a per-day average . This will produce 2.0 ton yarn per 2000 charkhas. Therefore, there will be a requirement of 500 Solar Looms to convert yarn into fabric. The maximum price per loom is Rs, 1,10,000/- with 35% allowance at Rs. 38,500/- per loom. The calculation will increase the subsidy to Rs. 1.93 Cr for 500 weavers.
- SPV will be given with 100% subsidy at the highest rate up to Rs. 1.20 Cr per cluster. It is the capital amount of workshed with a minimal space of 2000 sq.ft.
- SPV will get a capital cost of 50 KW capacity Solar Grid with 100 % allowance. It will be at the greatest amount rate up to Rs. 0.40 Cr.
- SPV will receive a one-time capital cost at 35% subsidy with a highest amount of Rs. 0.75 Cr. It will be per cluster to buy twisting, stitching and dying machines. The buying of machines will enable the unit to add value & become self- reliant.
2. Capacity Building
The project has foreseen courses for the weavers/spinners in the garment section. It is also for the other people in the unit at a total cost of Rs. 0.595 Cr. This cost is based on per group for two years of time period.
3. Interest Subvention for working capital
It is projected to have the 8% ceiling of IS on working capital. This interest rate of IS is irrespective of the charges applied by the Financial Institution or Banks. It is applicable for the six months of the time period.
The recurring working capital amount is Rs. 1,584 Cr for one group. This amount is at the IS of 8% for a six months time period. The capital includes weavers, roving and spinners wages cost.
Application of the mission
The important parameters of the scheme for the application process are as follows-
- The Directorate of the mission will formulate a list of potential clusters as per the states.
- A Promoter Agency(PA) or an individual will be selected to set up the Solar Charkha Clusters.
- The existing Khadi Institutions can take the work to set up clusters of Solar Charkha.
- Promoter will have to fulfill the below-mentioned criteria during application:
- Conduct baseline survey
- Identify 200 members with an Aadhaar Card in which 50% women should be included.
- Arrange land of up to 2 acres and minimum 20,000 sq.ft.
- Made all the expenditure for the land.
- The PA will make a deposit of at least 15% working capital in a separate account. It should be after the promoters’ final selection & before making the first release of the fund.
- The PA will have to make a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) before the first installment gets disbursed.
- The SPV will set up the combined model of solar looms, solar charkhas, etc. This will include a village which will be a focal village.
Target & Duration
The projects’ target was to cover beyond 50 clusters all over the nation. This scheme was applicable in all Indian states. The time period for the project application was for 2 years.
Role of the State Government in the mission
The State Government will take a effective action in the following areas of the scheme-
- Provide all necessary approval to set up the group and support on the basis of preference.
- Support projects on a priority basis by providing necessary external framework.
- The State Governments’ agencies can take part in the projects by providing grants.
- Identify the potential sites
- Seek the interference of MSME Ministry to set up the array in those sites.
- Submit the suggestions of the following before the DPR & Mission Directorate
- MSME of the State Government
- Department of the industries
- Secretary, &
- MSME of the Union Territory
- Get SSC’s final approval
Monitoring & Assessment
The Ministry of MSME will review the projects’ progress that are under the scheme. A mission directorate will be appointed by the ministry. He/She will acquire progress reports on yearly & quarterly basis. These reports will show the financial & physical progress from the cluster.
The mission directorate will be responsible to track progress of each cluster. It will be via video conferencing or other ICT tools.
A third party mid-term clusters’ analysis is foreseen to evaluate the mission scheme. This will aid in determining the gaps in the scheme & taking correct mid-course measures.
A significant Assessment study will be done at the end of the scheme duration. This will help to validate the outcomes achieved by the project.
The introduction of the Solar Charkha Scheme has made the Khadi workers’ life much easier. With the solar-powered charkha, artisans’ income has been raised from Rs. 140 to Rs. 350. This scheme has raised the chances to generate employment in rural areas.
Laborers are now able to operate charkhas mechanically with the solar charkhas. This change has raised the production & motivated the rural area people to join the labor force.
The Solar Charkhas helps in saving power due to the less consumption of water. Therefore, Khadi is recognized as a “Green Fabric.”