MSME Min to promote virtual clusters

New Delhi, Feb 20 (KNN)  After putting in place a comprehensive MSME cluster development programme, Union Ministry of MSME aims to promote virtual clusters in India to foster collaboration and innovation.   

Inaugurating an international conference here today on ‘Changing paradigm of cluster development: learning from global experiences,’ Secretary MSME Madhav Lal said that Ministry of MSME would promote virtual network of clusters dovetailing several cluster development schemes through tools of information technology. 

“We look at clusters as a means of reaching out to SMEs and virtual clusters could be an additional mechanism to foster collaboration and innovation among various clusters,” he said at the event organised today by Foundation for MSME Clusters.

Ministry of MSME, perhaps the only MSME specific Ministry in the world, has an annual budget of over Rs 3000 crore.  The Ministry runs MSME support programmes such as Credit guarantee trust fund for providing collateral free loans, Credit linked capital subsidy scheme for technology upgradation, National manufacturing competiveness programme and cluster development programmes.

India has around 400 industrial clusters and over 3000 artisan clusters.

Also speaking at the event, UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation) representative, Gerardo Patacconi who is chief of cluster and business linkage unit said that clusters remained an effective policy tool for inclusive and sustainable economic development and cluster development reinforced industrial development.

A large number of delegates from several developing countries are taking part in the two day conference and it is to be addressed by experts from international development agencies such as UNIDO, European Commission, IDB, and SADC among others.