“This will also start the process of mitigating the gap between the indigenous production and demand and will reduce import of agarbatti in the country,” it added.
Each targeted cluster of artisans will be supported with about 50 automatic agarbatti making machines and 10 mixing machines. Accordingly, a total of 200 automatic agarbatti making machines and 40 mixing machines will be provided to the artisans.
The Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), a statutory organisation under the Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), will provide training, and assist artisans working in this area, with Agarbatti manufacturing machines.
KVIC will tie up with khadi institutions and agarbatti manufacturers in the country, having good track record, to provide work and raw material to agarbatti making artisans.
“The programme will act as a catalyst in reviving the agarbatti manufacturing in the villages and small towns and will immediately generate a minimum of about 500 additional jobs,” the ministry said.
It said the programme aims to enhance the production of ‘Agarbatti’ in the country and create sustainable employment for the traditional artisans, by providing them regular employment and increase in their wages.
“This will give a boost to the domestic agarbatti industry in the country and will reduce imports of agarbatti,” said the ministry.
The Centre earlier took two major decisions by placing the agarbatti item from “free” trade to “restricted” trade in the import policy and enhancing the import duty from 10 per cent to 25 per cent on ’round bamboo sticks’ used for manufacturing of agarbatti for the benefit of the domestic industry.