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An Interview with

Devendrakumar Desai

Chairman, Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC)

Employment in khadi and village industries to double in 5 years

By : Vimukt Dave / Mumbai / Rajkot Jan 09, 2012, 00:25 IST




The economic slowdown has gripped global economies and industry remains apprehensive about growth in the coming year but India's khadi and village industries are all set to create new job opportunities for millions while catering to the global market.

The newly appointed chairman of the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), Devendra Desai spoke to Vimukt Dave and discussed in detail about the current state of Khadi and its future prospects. Excerpts:

Q:-       What is the present scenario of khadi in India?

A:-       Khadi production activity is spread all over India, mostly in villages and small town. Yearly India produces Rs 600 crore worth of khadi and has garnered sales worth Rs 900 crore.

Our target is to increase Khadi sales to Rs 2000 crore in coming five years. The overall production of village industries is Rs 18,000 crore. There are more than one crore people attached with khadi and village industries and most of them come from scheduled cast and minorities.


Q:-       What kind of steps will you take to develop the khadi and village industries?

A:-       We demanded Rs 15000 crore for the Khadi and village industries development in the 12th five yearly plan. KVIC is planning various projects to increase the use of khadi and village industries products in India as well as abroad.

At present we are focusing on marketing Brand khadi aggressively. Moreover KVIC will also give special focus on the designing aspect and attractive packaging of khadi and other products to target the youth segment of country. We will also produce readymade garments with modern looks.


Q:-       Are there any plans to take khadi to foreign countries?

A:-       Yes, we are also looking at marketing khadi in foreign countries. We have plans to open two plazas in western countries. Right now khadi is exported to many countries like China, Japan, USA, England, Germany, Russia, Canada and many more.

The demand for khadi there has increased so far, as khadi is an eco friendly apparel. Khadi’s heritage status will help us to grow there. Presently, India exports around Rs 150 crore worth of khadi and village industries products and as per our plan we want to reach Rs 5000 crore mark in five years.


Q:-       What are KVIC plans to make Khadi attractive?

A:-       At Wardha in Maharashtra, we have Mahatma Gandhi Rural Institute of Technology where khadi designs are prepared. We have plans to launch one more institute in Ahmedabad with an investment of Rs 150 crore where we will start designing courses also.


Q:-       Are you going to modernise khadi production in the future?

A:-       Production will not be modernised as the way khadi is produced on traditional charkhas and it gives employment to so many people. Technical up gradation reduces the manpower and we have no plans to take it up.


Q:-       As per your plans, how much new employment will be generated in the coming five years?

A:-       Presently, khadi and village industries combined give self employment to more than ten million people and we are aiming to double it in coming five years.


Q:-       Is KVIC moving towards privatisation?

A:-       We are moving to privatisation only to take care of the marketing. Production will not be given to private parties. Only registered institutes with KVIC can manufacture khadi. We will give khadi to privet parties for sale. They can design readymade garments and sell it. By this, we can increase income of khadi manufactures.


Q:-       What are the current challenges for the Khadi industry according to you?

A:-       The biggest challenge is to energise the khadi institutes to move with the changing times and trends. We are planning to give training of marketing and new design production to the people connected with khadi industry. Right now we have 32 training institutes and KVIC will open 10 new institutes across India.