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New Delhi: The central government will focus more on investments in designing and marketing of khadi products during the 12th Plan period (2012-2017) and making few items like muslin saleable internationally, according to an agency report.

Inaugurating a design exhibition, organised by National Institute of Design (NID), Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Secretary Uday Kumar Varma said, "Plans are afoot to pick up about 50 specific products, including 10-15 khadi varieties across the country such as muslin produced in Mushirabad and 'tussar' from Jharkhand, in the next five years and convert them into internationally-saleable commodities."

The strategy for the 12th Plan period will be "to revolutionise khadi by investing in production, designing, value-addition and marketing of the products," he said.

The khadi and village industries products, range from handmade paper, ready-made garments, honey, silk and muslin, usually fail to compete in the international market due to lack of marketing, branding and designing. They need proper designing to become competitive with other varieties available in the domestic and international market, Varma added.

In the next five years, there is a need to set up 10 more NIDs to cater the growing designing demand of the MSME sector, he said, adding it would generate job opportunities as well.

To revitalise khadi sector, the government with the assistance of Asian Development Bank is providing assistance worth $150 million to 300 khadi institutions.

The reform programme called Khadi Reforms and Development Programme will also open 20 new sales outlets in metros and state capitals and assist in renovation and modernisation of the existing outlets.

In the exhibition, the NID displayed 10 MSME products ranging from ENT multi scope to water pump redesigned by the institute with the help of Design Clinics scheme of the Ministry.

Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) established under the Khadi and Village Industries Commission Act, 1956 (61 of 1956), is a statutory organisation engaged in promoting and developing khadi and village industries for providing employment opportunities in the rural areas, thereby strengthening the rural economy of the country.