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MSMEs look forward to the National Board Meeting for a paradigm Shift in MSME Policy

 New Delhi, Apr 27 (KNN) The 15th Meeting of the National Board of MSME, being held today, will take up several key issues crucial for the sector and crying for policy intervention for quite some time.

 Some of the issues high on the agenda are: implementation of Framework for Revival and Rehabilitation of MSMEs; Setting up of Finance Facilitation Centres and online portal for MSE facilitation centres.

 The Board have other agendas also like redefining the MSME sector, ensuring share for MSMEs in Government procurement, revising the MSMED Act, 2006 etc. etc.

 However the sector is probably asking for much more, as the famous jingle goes…

 Commenting on the need for a functional ‘Board’ mechanism, V K Agarwal, Past President, FISME and a veteran of the Board Meetings, mentioned that if the Board has to function as the apex policy making body, it should come out of ad-hocism.

 Instead of an occasional jamboree, the Board should meet every month, keeping in view the enormous work needed to address the big picture of MSME growth, Agarwal opined. He also mentioned that the agenda for the board meeting should be culled out from the demands of the sector captured from a dedicated website.

 The meeting is being chaired by Union MSME Minister Kalraj Mishra and two mobile apps on ‘MyMSME’ and ‘MSE Facilitation Council’s portal have also been  launched during the programme. Along with the Ministry officials, bank executives, parliamentarians and industry representatives from across the country are present at the meeting.

 Expressing his strong reservation on the Meeting agenda, Dinesh Singhal, a noted MSME leader of UP and Chairman of FISME’s Committee on Labour and Employment, mentioned, “MSMEs are the largest employer  after agriculture and only hope for the 1 crore youth joining the job market every year. How the Board can overlook the labour law related challenges the MSMEs facing?” Singhal expressed.

 He also mentioned that   a Group of Government Secretaries have identified the high cost of social security laws as a major growth barrier for MSMEs and suggested  fixing of the PF rates at 10% and complete exemption from ESI with the Government  providing health services.

 “If cost of compliance of labour laws remains high, MSMEs will not be able to comply and continue operating in the shadows. Both neither the entrepreneur nor the workers will be benefitted and only Inspector raj will flourish”, lamented Singhal.

 FISME President Dinesh Tripathi mentioned that the federation will take up the labour law reform issues at the meeting.

 “Government of India came up with amnesty schemes for MSMEs under ESI and EPF if they register  by 31st March 2017. However, not many MSMEs could take advantage of it due to lack of information in time. FISME approached the PMO seeking extension of the date which I am happy to share has now been extended till 31st June 2017 both for ESI and EPF.FISME will urge the Minister to advertise the scheme proactively through electronic and print media so that more and more MSMEs take advantage of the window opened by the Prime Minister, he mentioned.

 Emphasising on making the Board a functional mechanism, Agarwal asked for a dedicated secretariat for the Board with functional groups addressing the challenges of important verticals as well as the segmental issues of micro, small and medium enterprises.