Like many from her generation, Abha Nangia, 26, wanted to become an entrepreneur — providing employment rather than being employed. The post-graduate in computers from Ambala had big dreams and proper plans. Money was the sole constraint.
“I left my job and started a terracotta pottery unit with whatever I could gather from my savings and parents. But it was just not enough. It was through the Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) that I got a loan of Rs 2 lakh and a subsidy of Rs 40, 000, which let me establish my own venture,” Nangia said.
The scheme has turned around the lives of two lakh young entrepreneurs till now — running units that manufacture articles ranging from jewellery to handmade paper. Around 15 lakh jobs have been created in urban and rural India through these ventures.
The PMEGP, a credit-linked subsidy programme, was announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Independence Day-2008. Though it had a slow start, PMEGP has witnessed a good response over the last two years.
According to the Khadi and Village Industries Commission, the subsidy disbursed to beneficiaries was Rs 905 crore against the target of Rs 836 crore — with average disbursement of Rs 1.9 lakh per unit — in 2011-12. “The scheme has now gathered steam,” KS Rao, director, PMEGP, said.
In the budget, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had announced a 23% hike for PMEGP, from Rs 1,037 crore in 2011-12 to Rs 1,276 crore in 2012-13.