Cabinet approves Rs 58k crore PM e-Bus Sewa, Vishwakarma scheme also cleared

New Delhi, Aug 16 (UNI) The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved PM e-Bus Sewa on Wednesday with an estimated cost of Rs 57,613 crore.

Briefing the media on the Cabinet decision, Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Anurag Thakur said that 10,000 new electric buses will be made available under PM e-Bus Sewa.

Thakur said that out of 169 cities in the country, 100 will be selected for the e-Bus Sewa scheme based on a challenge method.

The Minister said that under the Green Urban Mobility Initiatives, bus rapid transport projects would be developed along with non-motorised infrastructure like bike sharing and bicycle lanes.

“Innovative projects like the National Common Mobility Card, the Intelligent Transit Management System, and multimodal interchange facilities would also be developed,” he said.

The Cabinet also approved the PM Vishwakarma’ scheme to support traditional artisans and craftspeople in rural and urban India. The scheme will have an initial financial outlay of Rs 13,000 crore.

Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics, and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw said that eligible craftspeople under the Vishwakarma scheme will get support in terms of skill upgradation, credit, market access, and financial assistance for buying new tools.

“There will be two programmes under the scheme — basic and advanced. During the skilling programme, a stipend of Rs 500 per day will be given. For buying modern tools, support to the extent of Rs 15,000 would be provided. A loan of up to Rs 1 lakh will be provided to the craftsmen, and under the interest subvention scheme, a maximum interest rate of 5% will be charged. There will be very liberal terms and conditions. This will be the first tranche. In the second tranche, a loan of up to Rs 2 lakh will be provided,” Vaishnaw said.

The Minister said that under the scheme, 30 lakh craftspeople’s families will be supported, and one person from each family will qualify to avail of the benefit under the scheme.

In a major boost to railway infrastructure, the Cabinet also approved seven projects of the Ministry of Railways with an estimated cost of around Rs 32,500 crore. The new projects would add 2,339 km to the existing network of Indian Railways.

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