Raipur: Chhattisgarh government has approved a Gramodyog policy, aiming to generate seven lakh jobs in village industries and allied sector during 2016-2021.

Briefing reporters after a meeting of the state cabinet, chief minister Raman Singh said efforts would be made to generate employment for weaker sections, women and artisans and craftsmen during the next five years. About 1.15 lakh people are employed in 35,000 units of khadi and gramodyog sectors and the target is to provide more than two lakh jobs in 50,000 units. Silk textiles worth Rs 60 crore is exported every year at present and the target is to take it up to Rs 100 crore. Similarly, efforts would also be made to boost kosa, handicraft and clay craft production.

The Chief Minister said, "To improve design, basic quality national-level institutes -NIFT, textile committee, NID, and other institutes will be established. Craftsmen and artisans above the age of 60 will be provided financial assistance. Children of traditional artisans are provided with financial assistance for higher education in crafts design.

Cabinet also decided to waive vehicle tax on 660 combined harvester vehicles in state. About 150 harvester vehicles are being purchased every year. He said the step is aimed at boosting agriculture sector and modernize farming operations. The step will upgrade sector and increase food grains production. Singh said the cabinet also ratified certain policy corrections in Krushak Jyoti Yojana and electrification of pumps yojana, which will entail an additional expenditure of Rs 425 crore.

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