It looks like the SME sector and the Indian economy in general will soon see significant changes as a new industrial policy will soon be introduced by the Government. “We will soon announce the details of a new industrial policy that is being worked upon by this government. We hope to promote SMEs in the fastest way, aiming at enhancing the global supply chain,” said Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu announced at the International SME convention.
According to an earlier ET report, the new policy would be the major intervention after the industrial policies of 1956 and 1991 and the draft has so far been shared only with a limited audience: select captains of industry, economists, think tanks and policymakers.
The new policy is expected to emphasise on “M” in the SME (small and medium enterprises) sector. The government may help in the branding of products, mainly produced by mid-sized firms.
Prabhu added that SMEs promoted in poorer countries can bridge the gap between the rich and the poor and new technologies will be created, new networks will be formed among SMEs in the world to ideate and subsequently scale up those ideas to fruition. “Self help groups and startups alike are where SMEs can take advantage. After all, ideas are born in human minds, and not necessarily in the boardrooms of large corporate,” said Prabhu.
Speaking at the first ever three-day international SME Convention in New Delhi today, Minister of State for External Affairs, MJ Akbar said, “It is urgent that we include the world of SMEs in the financial flow. This government put banks on the surface to promote the smallest of businesses. For the first time, banks were open to those without money as well. This inclusion of the poor was what had led us to forming the Mudra scheme. Through the scheme, Rs 430 crore was transferred to 12 crore people,” said Akbar.
Akbar added that these loans, in turn, created new products and generated much more employment. “What is noteworthy is the fact that loans under Mudra have an NPA of only about 7%. Other than that, 78% of the Mudra loans were granted to female entrepreneurs. The government takes into account the grievances of the small business players, more so, the women entrepreneurs,” said Akbar.
Opening the plenary session, the MSME Secretary, Arun Kumar Panda, said India is perhaps the only country to count Micro enterprises, and the total count of MSMEs in the country stands anywhere between 65 to 70 million.