For the welfare of SC/ST entrepreneurs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 18 October 2016 launched national SC/ST (Schedule Castes/Schedule Tribes) hub in Ludhiana. He also launched the Zero Defect, Zero Effect (ZED) scheme for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Besides, he also gave away national awards to MSME entrepreneurs. He distributed 500 spinning wheels (spinning wheels) to women of weaker sections of Punjab to make them able to earn their livelihood.
National SC/ST hub
• This hub has been set up under Prime Minister's Employment Generation scheme to provide support to entrepreneurs from the SC/ST community.
• It was started with an objective to provide professional support to entrepreneurs from the SC/ST sections.
• It aims at promoting entrepreneurship among the SC/ST population.
• The hub with an initial outlay of 490 crore rupees will work towards strengthening market access/linkage, monitoring, capacity building, leveraging financial support schemes and sharing industry-best practices.
• It will also enable central public sector enterprises to fulfill the procurement target set by the government.
• Setting of the national SC/ST Hub under the MSME Ministry was announced by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his budget speech.
The Public Procurement Policy 2012
This procurement policy specifies that 4 percent of procurement done by ministries, departments and CPSEs should be done from enterprises owned by SC/ST entrepreneurs.
Zero Defect, Zero Effect (ZED) scheme
• The scheme was first mentioned by PM Modi in his Independence Day speech in 2014.
• ZED scheme denotes high quality manufacturing with a minimal negative impact on environment.
• It aims at raising quality levels in unregulated MSME sector.
• It will support MSMEs across the nation in all Make in India sectors through quality control cells constituted by government. These cells will rate them after carrying out annual assessment of their products.
Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister visited Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, where he dedicated to the nation three hydropower projects – namely, Koldam, Parbati and Rampur.
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