By Faiz Askari, Founder Editor of SMEStreet
When we talk about reforms, we generally indicate bringing something new to the system which can improvise things around the processes. And when we talk about reforms for the MSME sector we have to have a holistic approach towards advancements reforms. This was reflected in our exclusive and most interesting interaction with the Mr. AK Panda, Secretary, MSME Ministry.
Mr. Panda is an IAS who has joined the Ministry of MSME as Secretary and at such a critical time when the sector is experiencing the huge action and a major policymaking thrust is also happening around this sector. Mr. Panda has taken up the challenge of building MSME friendly ecosystem which will start by creating a dialogue exchange with MSMEs. Yes, something which is likely to win trust and participation of entrepreneurs in the policy-making turf.
Stressing on the importance to have a more conducive ecosystem for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country, He emphasized that growth and development can be achieved only if the easily accessible ecosystem is ensured. “We must hear from the MSMEs. And there must be an opportunity given to MSMEs to get heard. Once we know their perspective, their challenges by themselves, it will give us clarity on bringing those necessary reforms for this sector,” says Mr. Panda in an exclusive interaction with Faiz Askari of SMEStreet.
GST Driven MSME Growth
India conventionally known for it’s massive consumer base can now be positioned as a ‘world’s capital of MSMEs’. This can be termed because of the sheer numbers that MSMEs are having in India. MSME Adhaar registration data is indicating that there are around 44 LAkh MSMEs that have registered themselves on MSME Adhaar.
Now here comes the GST bandwagon! As per the latest data of MSME registrations on GST portal, there are over 1 Crore (10 Million) MSMEs that are working in various industry segments across India. The GST data of registered MSMEs is a huge development which can lead to major game-changing policies. “This is a huge data for us to re-strategize our efforts towards bringing the untouched MSMEs into the mainstream. We are working in this area and expect a great action ahead,” says Mr. Panda.
Considering this factsheet, communications and engagement with MSMEs is important. Giving indications of multi-pronged and multi-layered interactive communication between the policymakers and MSMEs. Mr. Panda also said, “There are many interlinked issues. For example, Finance, production, technology, accessing markets and so on, all these layers of doing business need some strong integration and synergy. We as policymakers will soon come out with a solution around these lines.”
Refereeing the recent developments around credit scenario for MSMEs specially with respect to CGTMSE, Mr. Panda emphasized, “The recent amendment in the CGTMSE scheme is a huge game changer. We will and we must discuss the challenges faced by the real MSMEs. NBFCs are getting considered as a major driver for MSME lending and government is acknowledging their efforts in this direction.”
Moreover, the secretary acknowledged the challenges and concerns that exist in the MSME sector, such as lack of easy credit as a bottleneck, he mentioned, “Fixing up of financial issues and systems is my top priority and we are working on fixing a roadmap and plan to ease out the pains of entrepreneurs in accessing finance and availing credit.”
Hailing the new structure of Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) he stated, “This is a positive and very big step towards ensuring easy credit for the sector.”