SC/ST quota in govt tenders on the cards

While there is not much resistance to the idea of a 4 per cent sub-quota for entrepreneurs belonging to SC/ST communities, a consensus on the overall proposal for 20 per cent reservation for MSEs is yet to emerge.

"SCs/STs issue has been resolved. There will be sub- reservation," a senior official in the MSME ministry said, adding that if there is not enough capacity with these entrepreneurs, the orders can be passed on to general category sourcing channels.

The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has been pushing for sub-quota for SC/STs in government tenders, which are worth about Rs 1,70,000 crore annually. The share of all MSEs in these tenders is about 4-5 per cent.

The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) is trying to forge an inter-ministerial consensus on reservation for MSEs in state purchases, an official said.
The proposal is being followed on the recommendation of the Prime Minister's Task Force on the issue.

There are concerns from some ministries like petroleum and natural has, home, commerce and the railways over the quality and capability of MSEs to deliver the orders.

Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) employ around six crore people and contribute 8 per cent to the country's gross domestic product. They account for 40 per cent of India's total exports and over 45 per cent of total manufacturing output.

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