Union Minister for MSME and Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari has said that the relief package announced by the Union Government for different stakeholders/sectors including MSME, labour, agriculture etc. and the new definition of MSMEs will give huge boost to industry. He called for exploring the rating of MSMEs and asked the participants to give suggestions for effective implementation of Fund of Funds announced as part of the package for MSMEs.
Shri Gadkari said this while addressing meetings with the representatives of Business Network International and MM Activ Sci-Tech Communications via video conferencing on “Impact of COVID-19 on MSMEs” and “Future of Indian Industry after 20 lakh crore package” respectively.
Shri Nitin Gadkari also said that there is need to explore Agro MSME and Fishing MSME sector.
The Minister stated that all the stakeholders including government are facing challenges due to COVID -19. He urged the industry to maintain a positive attitude during these difficult times to tide over the present crisis as negativity is not in anybody’s interest.
Recalling that Government of Japan has offered special package to its industries for taking out Japanese investments from China and move elsewhere, he opined that it is an good opportunity for India which should be grabbed.
Referring to Green Express Highway project, he said that work has already started on new Delhi – Mumbai Green Expressway which passes through rural, tribal and backward areas. This, he stressed, is an opportunity for industry to make future investments in industrial clusters, logistics parks equipped with state-of-art technology along the way passing through rural, tribal and less developed areas. Stating that there is a need to work on decentralization of industries from metro/big cities, he said focus should be on rural, tribal and backward areas of the country.
The Union Minister emphasized that special focus towards export enhancement is the need of the hour and necessary practices shall be adopted to reduce power cost, logistics cost and production cost to become competitive in the global market. He cited an example that by introducing vehicle scrap page policy production cost can be reduced. Further, he mentioned that there is also need to focus on import substitution to replace foreign imports with domestic production. The Minister shared that the Ministry of MSME is working on two booklets to cover details about last three year’s export and import.
Shri Gadkari mentioned that industry should focus more on innovation, entrepreneurship, science and technology, research skill and experiences to convert the knowledge into wealth.
Some of the questions asked and the suggestions given included: How to leverage “Blessing in Disguise” mentioned by the Minister, what more BNI can do to make an impact on society, what is the message for companies who are in problem during COVID-19, increasing the limit of MUDRA loans to 25 lakh to benefit micro enterprises, issuance of simple guidelines for recently announced 3 lakh crore collateral-free automatic loans for MSMEs etc.
Shri Gadkari responded to the questions from representatives and assured all possible help from the government. He emphasized that industry should take a positive approach and tap the opportunities that will be created when the COVID-19 crisis gets over.