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Assistance to MSMEs to compete in international market

The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector has emerged as a highly vibrant and dynamic sector of the Indian economy over the last five decades. MSMEs not only play crucial role in providing large employment opportunities at comparatively lower capital cost than large industries but also help in industrialization of rural & backward areas, thereby, reducing regional imbalances, assuring more equitable distribution of national income and wealth. MSMEs are complementary to large industries as ancillary units and contribute enormously to the socio-economic development of the country.

Fast changing global economic scenario has thrown up various opportunities and challenges to the MSMEs in India. While on the one hand, many opportunities are opened up for this sector to enhance productivity and look for new markets at national and international level, it has also, on the other hand, put an obligation to upgrade their competencies to meet the competition as new products are launched at an astonishing pace and are available world wide in short time.

To make MSMEs competitive in the international market assistance is given by the Ministry through various schemes:-

The National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme (NMCP)
The National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme (NMCP) is the nodal programme of the Government to develop global competitiveness among Indian MSMEs. An amount of Rs.500 crores as the Government's Contribution had been allocated for NMCP during XIth Plan. NMCP targets at enhancing the entire value chain of the MSME sector through the following schemes:

- Lean Manufacturing Competitiveness Scheme for MSMEs; 
- Promotion of Information & Communication Tools (ICT) in MSME sector;
- Technology and Quality Up gradation Support to MSMEs;
- Design Clinics scheme for MSMEs;
- Enabling Manufacturing Sector to be Competitive through Quality Management Standards (QMS) and Quality Technology Tools (QTT);
- Marketing Assistance and Technology Up gradation Scheme for MSMEs;
- Setting up of Mini Tool Room under PPP Mode;
- National campaign for building awareness on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR);
- Support for Entrepreneurial and Managerial Development of SMEs through Incubators.

Bar Code under Market Development Assistance (MDA) Scheme
There are mainly two activities under this scheme:
Bar Code - This scheme aims to encourage Micro & Small exporters in their efforts in tapping and developing overseas market, enhance exports from Micro / Small manufacturing enterprises by popularizing the adoption of Bar Coding on a large scale. For adoption of Bar Code, the Government provides reimbursement of 75% of one time registration fee (w.e.f. Ist January 2002) and 75% of annual fees (recurring) (w.e.f. Ist June 2007) paid to GS1 India (Formerly EAN India) by Micro & Small units for the first three years for bar code.

International Trade Fair - Under International Trade fair scheme, the Government provides 75% of air fare subsidy by economy class and 50% space rental subsidy for Micro & Small manufacturing enterprises of General category entrepreneurs. For Women/SC/ST Entrepreneurs & Entrepreneurs from North Eastern Region, 100% reimbursement of space rent and economy class air fare is provided. The subsidy is restricted to Rs.1.25 lakhs per unit. 

Marketing Assistance and Technology Up gradation Scheme for MSMEs
The objective of this scheme is to enhance MSME's competitiveness in the National as well as International market through various activities such as Technology Up gradation in Packaging, Skill Up gradation/Development of Modern Market Techniques, special components for North Eastern region (Participation of MSMEs of NER in domestic exhibitions organized in other parts of the country), New market through State/District level local exhibitions/trade fairs, Corporate Governance practices, Reimbursement to ISO-18000/22000/27000 Certification and Setting up of Marketing Hubs in the premises of selected MSME-DIs.

Cluster Development Programme
Under the Micro & Small Enterprises - Cluster Development Programme (MSE-CDP) financial assistance is provided to Micro & Small Enterprises Clusters for Various activities including marketing assistance. This include participation of entrepreneurs in clusters in one foreign fair, benchmarking support, brochure preparation, website launching etc. to help them become competitive in the international market.

Marketing Assistance scheme of National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) 
Marketing support is provided to MSMEs to enhance their competitiveness and marketability of their products. The assistance is provided for following activities:

- Participation in International Exhibitions / trade Fairs in foreign countries.
- Organizing "Techmart" exhibition and international level exhibitions in India which are visited by foreign delegations;
- Organizing visits of delegations abroad for promoting Indian MSMEs.

Interest Subvention Scheme of Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) 
- 2% Interest subvention scheme available to SMEs for exports amongst other sectors has been extended till March 31, 2014. 

During the calendar year 2011, the share of Indian MSME exports as a percentage of total world imports for the same products manufactured by Indian MSMEs has been provisionally estimated at 1.90%. The estimate is based on the data taken from International Trade Centre (ITC), UN COMTRADE Statistics. (PIB Feature).

*Inputs from the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises.