'Lakhs of MSMEs benefited from unveiled initiatives'

Lakhs of small scale industries benefited from initiatives unveiled for MSMEs: President

'Several steps have been taken to enhance the role of MSMEs in the mission aimed at developing an Aatmanirbhar Bharat,' Kovind said

President Ram Nath Kovind at Lok Sabha during the Budget Session of the Parliament, in New Delhi, Friday, Jan. 29, 2021. Credit: LSTV/PTI Photo

President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday said that lakhs of small-scale industries in India have benefitted from the series of measures unveiled by the government for micro, small and medium enterprises.

In May, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced initiatives such as Rs 3 lakh crore of collateral-free loans for small businesses, Rs 20,000 crore subordinate debt for stressed or loan defaulting MSMEs, and changes in the criteria for classifying MSMEs as part of the Rs 20 lakh crore COVID-19 economic stimulus package.

Addressing members of both Houses of Parliament at the start of the Budget session, the President also highlighted India's scientific capabilities, technical expertise and strength of its start-up ecosystem which the country demonstrated by developing a network of over 2,200 laboratories in a short time span, manufacturing thousands of ventilators, PPE kits and test kits amid Covid-19 thereby, attaining self-reliance.

"Initiatives such as Emergency Credit Guarantee Scheme for Rs 3,00,000 crore, special scheme of Rs 20,000 crore for MSMEs in distress and Fund of Funds have benefitted lakhs of small scale industries," Kovind said.

The President noted that development of small and cottage industries has received the requisite impetus through measures like modification in the definition of MSMEs, increase in the investment limit or priority in government procurement.

"Besides ushering in greater transparency, the GeM (government e-marketplace)portal has facilitated increased participation of the MSMEs even in far flung and remote areas in Government procurement," Kovind said.

He pointed out that small scale industries, cottage industries and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) spread across the villages and small towns are the backbone of India's economy.

"These small scale industries have immense potential of making India self-reliant. This sector accounts for about 50 per cent of India's total exports. Several steps have been taken to enhance the role of MSMEs in the mission aimed at developing an Aatmanirbhar Bharat," Kovind said.