Yoga guru Ramdev wants to be the ‘saviour’ of the thriving Khadi and village industries by helping out the Modi government to “plug the gaps” in the functioning of the recently dissolved Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) and provide it research and development support.
The government is considering a proposal made by Ramdev’s company Patanjali Yogpeeth (PY), which made a presentation to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) minister Kalraj Mishra in November, where it highlighted KVIC’s failures and offered ways to “plug the gaps” in its functioning.
But it’s not going to be a one-way street. MSME ministry sources claim Ramdev is interested in selling PY products through KVIC, which has a strong sales network across the country. Ramdev is also looking for a tie-up or taking over control of the KVIC, sources close to Mishra told the Hindustan Times.
Spokesperson of Ramdev was not available for a comment.
“Ramdev’s team was of the view that the KVIC does not have a state of the art R&D facility and quality control mechanism. He wants to assist the government in plugging the gaps,” MSME ministry’s joint secretary and KVIC’s CEO BH Anil Kumar told HT.
“Handing over control of KVIC to him seems difficult but adding his products can be considered,” ministry sources said.
“We have not taken a decision as yet,” Kumar confirmed.
The KVIC, formed in 1956 to promote Khadi and village industries, was dissolved by the Modi government on July 25 last year. The MSME ministry had said this was done to revamp the panel and make it more effective and efficient in generating more employment in the rural non-farm sector.
KVIC’s last chairman Devendra Desai claims annual turnover from Khadi and Gramudyog is between Rs 17,000 to Rs 20,000 crore. “Around 12.5 million people are employed in this industry,” Desai said, backing the idea of a revamp. He refused to comment on Ramdev’s plan.
Haridwar-based PY produces medicinal, cosmetic and other consumer products that are sold through franchise and other counters across India.
Modi, during his first mann ke baat radio address to the nation on October 3, urged people to use Khadi products, saying it would benefit the poor.