The UP government has consistently failed to meet targets under the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme for micro industries since 2016, data released by the Union ministry for medium, small and micro enterprises (MSME) shows.
Failure to add jobs in the micro sector, says the Indian Industries Association, is a result of the industry itself failing. While the sector has been witnessing a slowdown for some years now, it says, the situation has worsened over the past few years due to poor implementation of policies and demonetisation, among other reasons
. IIA, an association representing small-scale industries in UP, cites the example of Kanpur where both main industries, leather and plastic, are on the verge of closure. The state government, however, denies that there is a problem with the sector.
“Loans given by banks to MSMEs in 2017-18 were worth Rs 41,000 crore which went up to Rs 58,000 crore in 2018-19. Such a massive increase can only be possible if new industries are coming up which means that jobs are being generated. PMEGP is not a parameter to judge the health of the MSME sector, “ said Bhuvnesh Kumar, secretary,MSME.
MSME ministry data shows that even as job creation under PMEGP has been going up since 2016, it has fallen woefully short of the target set by the Centre. Raising questions about this data, IIA says the government needs to give specific information on which industries these jobs were created in.
It also adds that schemes like ‘one district-one product’ meant to revive small industries are not being taken seriously. The association met Union MSME minister Nitin Gadkari recently and appraised him of various issues. IIA president Sunil Vaish said that their demands include implementation of 13 industrial policies which the UP government has been announcing.
Vaish also pointed out lack of a monitoring mechanism and non-cooperation by officials “Payments to MSMEs are to be made within 45 days but here, there are delays of several months, if not years. The biggest defaulters are government departments,” Vaish said. The association has also flagged off complaints with the government against UPSIDC for making unilateral changes in maintenance charges