In an attempt to boost the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Union MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari has inaugurated 50 artisan-based Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI) clusters across over 18 States. At its launch the MSME Minister also said the central government is making efforts to establish at least five thousand MSME clusters under the SFURTI scheme. For the development of these clusters, the MSME Ministry spearheaded by Nitin Gadkari has funded Rs 85 Crore. Under the scheme, various small and medium scale traditional industries and artisans into clusters with the aim to improve their earnings and make them more competitive. MSME Credit Moves Towards Pre-Pandemic Levels, Witnesses a Growth of 5.7%: Report.

Gadkari also informed that the ministry is trying to fast track the approval process for the clusters, adding that these clusters would be helpful to farmers and craftspeople be independent. The clusters under the SFURTI scheme offers various programmes for the development of MSMEs including skill development, capacity building, creation of facilities such as common facility centres, rehousing facilities and marketing and e-commerce assistance to local industries. Indian SMEs Plan To Expand Businesses As Economy Revives, Restoration of Business Activities Likely To Gain Momentum Post COVID-19 Era: Survey.

Through these clusters more than 42 thousand artisans have been ensured continuous support and assistance in the traditional segments of muslin, khadi, coir, handicraft, handlooms, wood craft, leather, pottery, carpet weaving, bamboo, agro processing, tea and others. The SFURTI clusters have been inaugurated in several states including Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

So far as many as 371 such clusters have been funded by the government under the Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries initiative. A total of Rs 888 Crore have been spend for its development by the centre. Nitin Gadkari also said that the government is looking to increase the share of MSME sector in the country's GDP to 40 per cent from the current 30 per cent and share of exports to about 60 per cent from 48 per cent.