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“I am very happy to participate in the National Awards function of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). I congratulate all those distinguished entrepreneurs who have received awards today. I am sure their example will motivate entrepreneurs all over the country to strive for higher standards of performance.
The MSME sector is of vital importance to our national economy. It accounts for 8 per cent of the country’s GDP, 45 per cent of its manufactured output and 43 per cent of our exports. It provides employment to over 10 crore people. Our Government has always believed that strong performance of this sector is necessary for us to achieve the objective of rapid and inclusive growth. It is a matter of considerable satisfaction for all of us that the MSME sector has grown at a healthy rate of 10 per cent in recent years.
Our Government has taken a number of steps to remove the constraints that impede faster development of this vital sector. The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Act, passed in 2006, was one of the most important initiatives in this direction. Subsequently, we began implementing the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme (NMCP), which is an important blueprint for increasing competitiveness in the MSME sector.
We also set up a Task Force to explore how the MSME sector could be further strengthened. The Task Force’s report was received in 2010 and made several important recommendations. I am happy that all the major recommendations of this report have been implemented.
The Public Procurement Policy, announced in 2012, will help in improving the market access and competitiveness of MSEs by increasing their participation in Government programme of purchases and encouraging them to establish linkages with large enterprises.
Additional measures were announced in the Budget for the Financial Year 2013-14 to promote the growth of the MSME sector. These included continuation of non-tax benefits available for MSMEs for three years even after an enterprise graduated to a higher category. Fifteen additional tool rooms are being set up in the country with World Bank assistance to facilitate skill development and promotion of new technologies in the MSME sector. Regeneration of traditional industries is being given focused attention and this is expected to benefit 4 lakh artisans engaged in these activities.
Another recent initiative to assist the MSME sector is the setting up of the ‘India Inclusive Innovation Fund’ (IIIF) for promoting grass-root level innovation.
I am very happy to note that the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) launched in 2008-09 has created a durable impact by assisting the establishment of more than 2 lakh micro enterprises and providing job opportunities to more than 21 lakh unemployed persons.
I would like to take today’s opportunity to emphasize the need for promoting exports from the MSME sector. Only a small fraction of enterprises today has the skills, risk appetite and resources to avail of the opportunities offered by processes of globalization. We need to change this state of affairs. I am happy that the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises has been taking steps to promote bilateral cooperation with other countries in the MSME sector and giving our enterprises exposure to international markets and foreign technologies.
The Government’s initiatives can be successful only with the participation of the private sector and civil society. I would urge Industry Associations and Chambers of Commerce in India to come forward with innovative solutions to address constraints that still hamper the development of the MSME sector and also provide constructive inputs for policy formulation and implementation in years to come.
Before I end, I would like to place on record my appreciation of the efforts made by my Cabinet colleague Shri K. H. Muniyappa for the benefit of the MSME sector.
I am confident that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in our country have a very bright future. I wish them all success in the time to come.”