During the three decades of planned development there has been an impressive development of large scale industries, but India still remains predominantly a country of village and small industries. Cottage and small scale industries are scattered over the whole country and they cover a wide range of traditional and modern small-scale industries including handloom, khadi, powerloom, sericulture, coir, handicrafts, village industries and mechanized small-scale industries. It is no exaggeration, therefore, that cottage and small scale industries are the backbone of Indian economy.

Cottage and small-scale industries include four categories of industries, viz. village industries, cottage industries, tiny-industries, and small-scale industries. The village industries are closely connected with agriculture and are mainly concerned with the processing of local raw-materials with simple techniques. The cottage industries are carried on by the artisans in their own cottages with their own family workers. Cottage industries do not use power and employ a small amount of capital.

Another important advantage of developing small units is that they not only do not require much foreign exchange earnings of the country. But above everything else, they can bring about awaken­ing among the people. They can make them self-confident and self-reliant.

Due to their limited resources, the owners of these industries cannot afford to purchase raw-material in bulk. That is why they get low quality materials at high rates. Cheap and easy finance is not avail­able to these industries. The financing system of government insti­tutions and banks is such that these industries have to complete many formalities and there are so many complications which can be followed by these less educated entrepreneurs. These industries mainly exist in villages and due to lack of transport and communication facilities they are handicapped in finding suitable markets for their products.  lack of Managerial Talent Cottage and small scale industries are mostly run by the small businessmen having no training of management and organization. How these industries, therefore, can stand before the large seals industries which are managed and organized by the specialists of that field?

Keeping in view the importance of small seals industries the government have taken many steps to overcome their problems. The Union Government has set up a number of agencies to help the village and small industries. These include the Small Scale Industries Board the Khadi and Village Industries Commi­ssion, the All India Handicrafts Board, the AH India-Handloom Board and Central Silk Board, credit facilities are made available to these industries through a number of institutions. Small scale sector is included m the priority sector for the supply of institutional credit. Industrial estates and rural industrial projects have been set up and industrial co-operatives have been organized. To encourage the small scale sector, the Central Govern­ment has reserved 807 items for exclusive production in the sector.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his last ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme for 2019 aired on All India Radio called upon people to promote indigenous products for the next three years till the completion of India’s 75th year of Independence.

“My dear countrymen, can we pledge, that by 2022, when we achieve 75 years of Independence we insist and remain steadfast at least, for about two-three years on buying local products?  “Products made in India, made by the hands of our citizens, carrying the fragrance of the sweat of our countrymen, can’t we resolve to buy such things? I do not advocate this for a long time, just till 2022, till the completion of 75 years of Independence,” he said in his address.

Modi said this work should not just be carried on by government, but young people should step forward across the country in forming small organizations, motivating people, explaining and deciding Come, we will buy only local, products, emphasize on local products, carrying the fragrance of the sweat of our countrymen – That will be the exultant moment of my free India; let these be the dreams with which we proceed.”

Exhorting countrymen to become self-reliant and live their lives with dignity, he also cited the example of one such initiative – Himayat Programme’ of Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh.

“The ‘Himayat Programme’ is actually associated with skill development and employment. In this programme, teenagers and youth from 15 to 35 years of age, those denizens of Jammu and Kashmir whose studies, for some reason, could not be completed, who had to leave school and college midstream are associated,” he said.

Under the aegis of this programme in the last two years, the prime minister said 18,000 youth have been trained in seventy-seven different trades.

Out of these, around five thousand people are working somewhere or the other, and many have moved towards self-employment. The success stories of lives which have changed under the aegis of the ‘Himayat Programme’, truly touch the heart, he said.