Surpassing all states and Union Territories (UTs), 21,640 units have been established under the flagship scheme Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) during 2021-2022, which created the highest number of 1.73 lakh employment.

An official spokesman of the J&K government said that these units have been established with a total capital of Rs. 2101 crore and a total margin money of Rs. 467 crores has been disbursed, which is the highest among all other states and UTs.

Notably, the Union Ministry of MSME has launched an initiative of distributing PMEGP awards to promote and award innovation and excellence of successful entrepreneurs of the scheme. In this regard, nominations have been invited online from successful entrepreneurs.

Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and KashmirIANS

An official attributed this employment spree to the Prime Minister's vision for all-around development and self-sustainability of Jammu & Kashmir. Such large-scale self-employment in J&K is a contribution of KVIC towards making the state self-sustainable and bringing it to par with other states in terms of development.

People participating in government schemes after abrogation of Art 370

The record number of PMEGP units in J&K is also a testimony of how people of J&K, after the abrogation of Article 370 are participating in government schemes to strengthen the local economy and pave the way for the overall development of the state, he added.

It is noteworthy that in 2021-22, a majority of the PMEGP units in J&K have been set up in districts like Baramulla, Budgam, Pulwama, Anantnag, Ganderbal, Kupwara, Bandipora, and Doda which are largely prone to terrorism.

As many as 16,807 (78%) of the 21,640 PMEGP units in J&K belong to the service sector, i.e. units like beauty parlours, boutiques, embroidery, mobile/computer repair shops, food outlets, etc. This is followed by 1933 units (9%) under rural engineering and biotechnology like steel fabrication and steel furniture, artificial jewellery making, vermicompost, and bio-fertilizers units. Also, 1770 units (8%) pertain to the agro and food processing industry.

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PMEGP helps J&K youth to become successful entrepreneurs

Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) helped Nardeep Singh become a successful entrepreneur. Speaking about his success, a proud Nardeep Singh said he strived hard for a job but failed to get success.

"I approached the Jammu and Kashmir Khadi and Village industries board, Udhampur, wherein the district officer briefed me and convinced me about the PMEGP Scheme and thus, activated the entrepreneur in me. I then applied for loan assistance of Rs 24.96 lakhs for manufacturing of hydraulic equipment unit," he said.

The case was eventually approved by the DLTFC (District Level Task Force Committee). Despite the failures in life, he took a risk and it eventually paid off. Today, he gives employment to 25 youths of his locality.

The Ministry of MSME is implementing Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) since 2008-09 through Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) as a nodal agency at the national level for generating employment opportunities in the country by setting up micro-enterprises in the non-farm sector.

Similarly, 44-year-old Mohammad Shafi Mir, proprietor of Modern Steel and Trunk factory at Beerwah Budgam, had never thought in his wildest dreams that he would employ 15 people to work for him. "There was a period when it was difficult to meet both ends. I was working as a labourer in steel factory with a meager earning of Rs 3000 per month," said Mir, with tears in his eyes.

He approached district officer Budgam after he was told about different schemes under Jammu and Kashmir Khadi and Village Industries Board.

"The district officer was kind enough to entertain my application without any obstacles. My case was forwarded to DLTFC and eventually, a loan of Rs 25 lakh was approved in my favour," Mir said and added that owing to the support of J&K KVIB, his earnings rose from Rs 3000 to Rs 25, 000 per month and now he is a successful and satisfied entrepreneur.