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Assistance Scheme for Handicraft Artisans (ASHA)

Assistance Scheme for Handicraft Artisans

Assistance Scheme for Handicraft Artisans (ASHA)

The Government of Kerala has initiated the Assistance Scheme for Handicraft Artisans (ASHA) to promote the artisans in the handicraft sector. Under this scheme, assistance in the form of term loan for setting up handicraft enterprise will be provided to the artisans below the poverty line. In this article, we look at the Assistance Scheme for Handicraft Artisans (ASHA) in detail.

Also, read about Ambedkar Hastshilp Vikas Yojana (AHVY).


The objectives of the Assistance Scheme for Handicraft Artisans (ASHA) are given below:

  • To provide support to artisans in the handicrafts sector for setting up of handicrafts based micro-enterprises.
  • To provide one time grant to eligible artisans of the state as back end assistance.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Any micro-enterprises engaged in handicraft sector and having Entrepreneurs Memorandum (EM Part-II) or Udyog Aadhar under the MSME Development Act, are eligible for this scheme.

Note: The enterprises notified under the negative list such as units started by Government controlled agencies, Government controlled industries, Public sector undertakings, units financed by KVIC/KVIB are not eligible for any assistance under this scheme.

Expenditure covered under the Scheme

The following are the expenditure would be eligible for assistance under the scheme:

  • Construction of Workshop or Workshed.
  • Electrification cost of workshed or workshop.
  • Cost of equipment, tools, machinery and accessories.
  • Technology support, design or product development.

 Quantum of Assistance

  • The assistance at the rate of 40% which is subject to a maximum limit of Rs.2 lakhs will be reimbursed on the fixed capital investment of all microenterprises set up in the state of Kerala by artisans in the handicrafts sector.
  • The assistance at the rate of 50%, which is subject to a maximum limit of Rs.3 lakhs will be reimbursed on the fixed capital investment of all microenterprises established by artisans belonging to the category of Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), Women and Young entrepreneurs.
  • Note: Any unit which has already received assistance subsidy or grant under any schemes from State Government, Central Government or Government Agencies would be limited to remaining assistance payable under this scheme.

Elements of Fixed Capital Investments

  • The elements under fixed capital investment include the cost of constructing Workshop, workshed, tools, equipment, machinery, accessories and electrification. 
  • All brand new identifiable items of equipment, tools, accessories or machinery including moulds, jigs as well as material handling equipment would be eligible for assistance.
  • Fabricated machinery should be supported by a valuation certificate mechanical engineer, not below the rank of an Industrial Extension Officer under the District Industries Centre concerned.
  • Power Connection costs to KSEB, transformer costs and cost of the industrial wing would be eligible for assistance.
  • In case of technology support, product or design development a detailed project report is required for the same approved by the government-owned technology, product or design development agencies such as CSIR, CTCRI, Kerala Institute of Design, NID, NIFT, IIHT, Government Engineering colleges approved by AICTE, Institutions under Science and Technology etc.

Note: These institutions should certify that the technology is new or the product or design development has been undertaken by them for the unit.

Sanctioning Authority

 The application should be placed in the District Level Handicraft Project Appraisal Committee to be constituted with the following entities:

  • General Manager
  • Lead bank Manager
  • AD (Development Commissioner Handicrafts)
  • Manager in charge of Handicrafts.

The committee would make verification of the application and recommend to the General Manager. The power to sanction the assistance under the scheme would be vested with the General Manager, District Industries Centre.

Application Fee

Application Form for Assistance Scheme for Handicraft Artisans (ASHA) can be obtained from the branch office without remitting any fee for it.

 Documents Required

The documents that are required to apply for this Handicraft Artisans scheme are as follows:

  • Prescribed application form duly signed by the applicant. (In case of partnership firm, the signature of all partners is mandatory).
  • Self-attested copy of receipt or challan towards payment of fees.
  • Copy of Ration card, Passport, driving licence of the promoter or promoters.
  • In the case of young entrepreneurs applying for the scheme, a copy of the birth certificate has to be enclosed.
  • Self-attested copy of resolution towards applying for this grant in case of units other than proprietory.
  • Self-attested copy of the acknowledgement of EM (EM part 1 in case of an application for startup support and part II for other assistance).
  • Copy of Caste certificate attested by Gazetted officer in case of SC/ST entrepreneurs
  • applying for assistance.
  • Copy of Detailed Project Report (DPR) has to be self-attested.
  • Self-attested copy of purchase and proof of payment of technology or consultancy transfer costs.
  • Self-attested copy of bills or invoice with proof of payment of the new plant and machinery.
  • Valuation certificate of a mechanical engineer not below the rank of an assistant executive engineer of Government department, chartered engineer, institution of engineers, approved valuer of an institution of valuers.
  • Certified copy from the research institution to prove that the technology is new.

Application Procedure

The applicant has to propose the District Level Handicraft Project Appraisal Committee with the duly filled application form along with the documents as per the checklist.

The concerned authority on accepting the application form would examine whether all necessary details have been furnished. If any of the information is found inadequate, the same would be forwarded to the applicant has to make corrections within ten days from the date of submission.

Any dues on any account of the unit to Government agency or Government would be adjusted from the amount sanctioned as assistance to any unit before disbursement of the assistance. 

The amount of assistance would be disbursed to the applicant bank account. The General Manager is responsible for the sanction of assistance within 30 days from the date of receipt of the completed application.

Note: The application form for the Assistance Scheme for Handicraft Artisans (ASHA) is given below in the pdf format for quick reference:

Screenshot from 2019-09-03 17-42-43

Other Conditions

The assistance obtained under Handicraft Artisans scheme is repayable by the applicant in the below following events.

  • If the information provided is found to be false, incorrect, misleading or misrepresented in such cases, the assistance availed by the applicant has to be refunded along with interest at the rate of 14% per annum.
  • If the units have availed startup support but not commenced its commercial production within one year after the receipt of assistance.