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'MSME Ministry taking steps to promote govt schemes'

To make the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) aware about the major schemes of the government, the MSME ministry is now taking important action by asking all sector-specific industry association to take responsibility and create awareness among the stakeholders.

"Among Indian MSMEs, there is a lack of awareness about existing schemes, which are intended to benefit the industry, leading to their non-implementation on time. Therefore, there is a need to ensure that the right level of awareness is created among entrepreneurs," MSME Secretary, Madhav Lal said during Ficci's 4th annual Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Summit in New Delhi.

He added that the government is implementing various schemes and policies to boost employment generation through development of manufacturing/service oriented enterprises, including those exclusively meant for women empowerment.

Some of the schemes operated by MSME Ministry are National Competitiveness Programme, Micro & Small Enterprises Cluster Development Programme, Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme for Technology Upgradation, Credit Guarantee Scheme, ISO 9000/ISO 14001 Certification Reimbursement Scheme, MSME Market Development Assistance Scheme, Lean Manufacturing and IT applications.

The MSME Ministry is creating a framework where the role, responsibility and obligations of each sector-specific industry associations will be clearly spelt out, he mentioned. "The idea is to bring together MSME industry associations dealing with a particular sector so that the coverage of the related schemes is enlarged and their adoption is expedited," he added.

Later in the day, Ministry of Defence (MOD), Director General- Acquisition, Satish B Agnihotri said that the revised Defense Procurement Policy 2013 is expected to be in the public domain by June 15, which will have details of the process for buying defence equipment for the military.

The DPP-2013 will be beyond the earlier DPPs of 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2011. This will explicitly back indigenous defence industry, he added.

The first-ever DPP released in January 2011 clearly articulates MoD's agenda of supporting a domestic defence industrial base where a significant role for MSMEs has been envisaged. MoD has set itself a goal of sourcing 70% of all defence equipment from Indian companies -- public, private and MSMEs - by 2020.

For this purpose MoD will also allocate fund of Rs. 100 crore to support research & development by Indian companies including MSMEs. When asked whether this fund is already in place, he replied that it is not yet allocated but there will be the provision on which the government is working at the moment.

The MSME sector contributes over 8 per cent to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and accounts for 45 per cent of the manufacturing sector. There are around 3.6 crore such enterprises, employing over 8 crore people.