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The MSME Ministry will soon announce a new scheme on entrepreneurship and skill training for disabled persons as it looks to expose their talents and provide market for their products, said Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday.

Inaugurating “EKAM Fest”, a week-long exhibition and sale of handicrafts, textiles and hand-looms products of artisans, traders/ entrepreneurs, belonging to ‘people with disability’, Gadkari said the scheme will be worked out in consultation with the ministries of Social Justice and Empowerment (SJE) and Textiles.

“I assure you that the MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) ministry will work (out) a special scheme for the entrepreneurial and skill development of persons with disabilities very soon as the government wants to encourage, expose and provide opportunities for the products of such persons. The scheme will be worked out in consultation with the ministries of SJE and Textiles,” the MSME minister said.

Gadkari also assured that the ministry would arrange business loans through the financial institutions to the disabled entrepreneurs without any collateral security. He also said that 29 per cent of the country’s GDP and 48 per cent of exports are contributed by MSMEs.

Textiles Minister Smriti Irani has assured international marketing assistance to the textile/handloom products produced and marketed by the disabled entrepreneurs.

She has also promised free distribution of handloom tool kits for the disabled weavers through the textile ministry.

Social justice minister Thaawarchand Gehlot said the exhibition, organised by the National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHDFC) under his ministry, was aimed at providing an avenue for the display and marketing of the products made by people with disabilities.

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The ministry is providing assistance by way of supplying raw materials, production and marketing of products generated by the disabled entrepreneurs, he added. PTI JBL

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