NEW DELHI: If you are a small-time entrepreneur brimming with ideas that could hit big, Narendra Modi’s government is waiting to hear you out. The NDA government, influenced by the RSS’ ideological thrust on ‘indigenous capital’, is looking up to small and medium industries and start-up entrepreneurs to come up with innovative ideas and technologies to sail through the impending crisis. As part of this, the government has decided to airlift the micro, small and medium enterprise sector of country-ignored for decades-and give it the much needed push.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has directed a national panel of all major ministries, including defence, civil aviation, railways and communication and information technology to engage with the medium, small and micro enterprises (MSME) sector with the MSME Development Forum as the coordinating agency.
“The MSME sector has been sidelined for the sake of big business. For the first time, a government has realised the potential of the sector and has asked major ministries to support the micro, small and medium enterprise sector of country,” said an official with the MSME ministry.
In fact, MSME’s contribution to the Indian economy is quite huge as it accounts for over 37 per cent of the GDP and over 42 per cent of total exports. Still, it was never a priority segment for any governments so far.
As per NASSCOM figures (2014), there are 3,100 start-ups in the country, which make it the third-largest base in the world. The figures also say that 800 plus start-ups are being set up annually.
The government’s effort is to help start-ups and existing entrepreneurs to link their business proposals and ideas with new markets and easy finance and better technologies. It has allocated Rs 3,300 crore to the MSME sector in the current budget, the highest ever the sector has ever got.
Anybody with innovative ideas can approach the ministry. “Once we are convinced of the potential of the ideas, the ministry will help him or her to translate it into a reality,’’ the official said.
He added that the PMO had taken an active interest in the India MSME Expo and Summit 2015 in New Delhi last month. For the first time, 10 important ministries-including defence and IT-had come together for the meet, which witnessed a series of brainstorming sessions.
The government also plans to create a national directory of all start-ups-medium, small or even tiny ones-area wise and product wise. This initiative will be helpful for them to get the benefits of various government schemes. As of now, a majority of units under the MSME sector are not registered. “The government doesn’t have much idea of the sector, and those who working in the area have no idea about government schemes. We are trying to connect these dots,” added the official.
Sources also reveal that the move is also political as the target is the youth. According to the government’s rough estimate, 90 per cent of those involved in start-ups are youths in age group of 20 to 30 years. It is expected that by 2020, there will be 11,500 start-ups, employing over 2.5 lakh people. If the government is able to connect with them, it will help the BJP in the long run.