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Rs 550 cr scheme for dropouts

This aims at improving the employment potential of an estimated one million school dropouts and workers over the next five years, reports Gaurav Choudhury.

business Updated: May 25, 2007 02:49 IST

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Thursday approved a Rs 550 crore skills development initiative (SDI) aimed at improving the employment potential of an estimated one million school dropouts and workers over the next five years.

"The minimum age limit for persons to take part in the scheme is 15 years, but there is no upper age limit," Information and Broadcasting Minister P R Dasmunsi told reporters after the CCEA meeting.

"The objective is to provide training to school leavers, to existing workers, to ITI (industrial training institutes) graduates, and so on, to improve their employability by optimally utilising the infrastructure available in government and private institutions and industry. People's existing skills can also be tested and certified under this scheme”, said Dasmunsi.

The training under SDI scheme will be provided by various Vocational Training Providers (VTPs) run by the government as well as the private sector. Dasmunsi said that initially 1896 Govt. ITIs and 3218 private training institutes affiliated to the National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) would be eligible to participate in the scheme as VTPs. “Once the scheme takes off, a mechanism for empanelment of other private VTPs will be evolved”, he said.

About 200 modules for employable skills as per industry and labour market demands would be identified and their course curriculum developed. On an average, an expenditure of Rs 5000 per person is likely to be incurred on imparting training and certifying the work force.

The programmes will have demand-driven short term training courses based on Modular Employable Skills (MES) decided in consultation with industry.

The union cabinet also approved a proposal to exempt textiles and textile machinery manufactured in India from the 0.05 per cent textile committee cess with a view to making the industry globally competitive.

"The exemption of textiles committee cess will rationalise tax and cess burden on the sector in the changed scenario of global competitiveness, thereby improving competitiveness of Indian textile sector in global markets," Information and Broadcasting Minister P R Dasmunsi told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

The cess is used to fund activities of the Textile Committee which works to promote exports and research in technical and economic fields.

At present, the cess imposed on textile and machinery is 0.05 per cent of the turnover. Around Rs 50 crore was collected through this levy in 2005-06. Last fiscal, the government had exempted garments from this cess.

gaurav.choudhury@hindustantimes.com