MSME virtual network to link clusters

 The MSME Ministry today launched a virtual network wherein different clusters of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can connect on a common platform and share information to help them expand their businesses.

“This virtual network of clusters will provide a networking platform for all stakeholders to connect with micro, small and medium enterprises,” MSME Secretary Madhav Lal said at the launch of the virtual cluster initiative here.

“The MSMEs, academic institutions, research institutions, NGOs and professionals can become members and relate to each other. We want to generally invigorate the entire environment for small enterprises. We hope the virtual cluster will keep growing,” he added.

The Virtual Cluster Approach, an initiative of the Ministry of MSME, overcomes the limitations of the Physical Approach requiring the location of the units in one geographical area besides substantial resources for creation of infrastructure.

On the tax relief measures suggested by the MSME Ministry for incorporation in the Foreign Trade Policy 2014-19 to boost MSME exports, Lal said, “What we are looking at is that if there is anything in the duty structure which can come in the way or due to which the small enterprises are getting unfairly treated or not getting a level-playing field, those things need to be corrected.”

The Commerce Ministry has initiated the process for formulating the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) for 2014-19 which will be unveiled by the new government. The new policy will include a long and medium term strategy to enhance trade competitiveness.

The Virtual Cluster Approach will enable MSMEs to co-exist with their peers on a web-portal, around 2,000 industrial clusters have been identified for undertaking soft and hard interventions with a view to increase the competitiveness of the enterprises.

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