Khadi spinners' wages hiked by more than 36%
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on a number of occasions, had appealed the countrymen to buy Khadi products, as it increases the economic sustainability of millions of artisans associated with it. And, on the eve of his Independence Day address to the nation this year, when he was mentioning about the growth of Khadi during the last four years – his Ministry of Micro, Medium and Small Enterprises (MSME) had already approved the proposal given by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) – to increase the wages of artisans from Rs 5.50 per hank to Rs 7.50 per hank – which is more than 36 percent increase than the older wage.
According to the Ministry of MSME's letter, the proposal of KVIC for enhancement of spinning wages to Khadi spinners with payment of government's subsidy i.e. Modified Market Development Assistance (MMDA), has been approved with effect from August 15.
Interestingly, in the history of Khadi, the increment of wages had never been more than Re 1 per hank before 2014. But, under the present regime of this government, it has been increased twice – each time with more than Rs 1.50 per hank, i.e. from Rs 4 per hank to Rs 5.50 per hank in July 2016 and from Rs 5.50 per hank to Rs 7.50 per hank this time.
Under the MMDA programme of the government, 30 percent of the prime cost is paid to the Khadi institutions as production subsidy. Out of this 30 percent of the prime cost, 40 percent of it goes to artisans as wage incentives and remaining 60 percent goes to the Khadi institutions. The wage incentives are being paid by the KVIC directly to the accounts of the artisans through DBT. As a result, if an artisan makes 20 hanks in a day – he will get Rs 150 per day as wage at the rate of Rs 7.50 per hank, plus incentives i.e. MMDA etc. Hence, on an average, an artisan spinning minimum 20 hanks in a day will now start earning Rs 202 per day.
Elated with ministry's approval in enhancing the artisans' wages, the KVIC Chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena says that KVIC's main concern was the welfare and socio-economic development of the artisans, who sustain the pyramid of Khadi and Village Industries. "Getting them better and wider opportunities for income and employment is the primary goal even while strengthening the Khadi brand as well as diversifying our business avenues," he said.
Saxena further said that with this enhancement in wages, the Khadi artisans would feel enthusiasm and security while working. "This increase will also attract the new and younger artisans to Khadi – who were earlier skeptical about their income."