SFURTI by MSME has changed the lives of more than 180 thousand artisans in India. This blog post contains every detail about the scheme and how one can be a part of it for making the livelihood of traditional artisans better.

What is SFURTI and how does it work?

SFURTI is a scheme launched by the Ministry of MSME to provide funds for the regeneration of traditional industries. For which the clusters are being identified, scrutinized and then the scheme is implemented. This whole process helps in adding more value to the traditional products which eventually improves the livelihood of the artisans.

But how does this happen? For a better understanding of this whole process, the Ministry has divided the mechanism under three agencies.
Nodal Agencies: Through these agencies, people can apply for the scheme. Currently, the Ministry has appointed 30 Nodal agencies.
Technical Agencies: Nodal agency appoints technical agency and one technical agency can work with various Nodal agencies.
Implementing Agency: This is the agency that helps is proceeding with the scheme. It can be an NGO, trust, corporation, State-Central government bodie, PRI, etc. Implementing agency and beneficiaries then establish an SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) that further helps in keeping a track with the scheme. While establishing an SPV, it is made sure that at least 33% of rights remain in the hands of beneficiaries. (as per the guidelines of SFURTI)

Qualification for the Scheme for an Implementing Agency

Any NGO, trust, corporations, State-Central government bodies, PRI, etc. with registration certificates, a positive image and experience in the respective area can apply to be an implementing agency.
Registration in NITI Aayog is also mandatory as well as a Positive Balance Sheet of the last 3 financial years
The availability of Land in the respective area for building the Common Facility Centre (CFC) is required for an IA in order to get approval for a cluster proposal.

Documents Required for Implementing Agency

  • Institution’s registration certificate
  • 3 years audit report
  • Documents regarding land for CFC
  • List of machines and its usage
  • SPV Details

Proposing a Cluster

Once an IA has registered, the cluster can be proposed in one of two ways:

Offline: In the process, the proposal is given to the nodal agency. After scrutinizing the proposal, the nodal agency shares detailed information with the Technical Agency.

Online: A lot of institutions have facilitated online portals so that clusters can apply online too. At the ministry level, this whole process takes place online.

Either implementing agency can directly apply for the scheme or a technical agency can find a cluster and apply for them. If the technical agency is identifying the cluster then they propose the cluster through the implementing agency and if IA itself identifies the cluster then, in this case, Nodal agency further appoints a technical agency.

With a new cluster proposal, a Diagnostic Study ReportĀ  or DSR is submitted to the Nodal Agency, this document includes details about proposed clusters such as the number of artisans, crafts, proposed products as well as plans on the following 3 elements of the cluster development process:

Soft Intervention: This covers all the facilities that focus on skill development and capacity building of the artisans. It provides marketing linkages, e-portal, patent registration, etc for post-production. For this, the scheme provides either 10% of the amount or 25 lakhs, whichever is less.

Hard Intervention: In this activity building, machines and Raw Material Bank (RMB) is given to the clusters. Initially, Scheme provided with working capital but now they provide RMB.

Hand Holding Support: For this, the scheme provides the implementing agency with 8% or 30 lakhs, whichever is less as its fees. Technical Agency gets 8% or max. 30 lakhs. They get this support for 3 years, till the time cluster is properly functional and then it is handed over to the SPV.

Online Application Process

IAs are expected to first apply through Nodal Agency’s portal. Process on these can be different for Nodal Agencies as they are allowed to design and develop application portals they see fit, however, you can expect most information required to be in sync with Ministry’s SFURTI Application portal.

In the case of leading SFURTI Nodal Agency COHANDS, The portal is designed and developed to facilitate a streamlined and easy to understand the process. You can apply after creating an account here. And below is an easy chart that will make it clear what information will be submitted by the 3 agencies.

Ministry of MSME has a national level SFURTI portal as well. All IAs are required to submit proposal details and progress being made on the clusters regularly.

Conclusion

SFURTI is one of the most important schemes being run by the Ministry of MSME. Not only it is helping thousands of artisans across India, it is also a flagship scheme to re-energize the handicraft and handloom industry in recent years. Now that you are aware of how things work in the scheme, you too can participate by working with a technical agency, nodal agency or becoming an implementing agency working in artisan cluster development. Feel free to drop any suggestions or queries in the comments below.