MSME Flagship: Showcasing SC/ST Hub

SMEStreet as a media platform dedicated towards SMEs and MSMEs is bringing to you a series of articles and features which are focused on keeping our readers updated around what are the flagship schemes existing around the MSME ecosystem. We have named it MSME Flagship. in this first article of this series, we will elaborate Ministry of MSME's SC/ST Hub initiative.

MSME Flagship: Showcasing SC/ST Hub
The story is compiled by Faiz Askari, he can be reached at faiz@smestreet.in

Holistic growth is the only way forward for any developing nation. India is on the verge of entering into the league of the developed nation from the existing tagging of a developing nation. Role of MSMEs is absolutely raised and discussed at almost every forum which highlights the holistic economic development of the society.

Indian MSMEs are significant contributors to nation’s economy and manufacturing output. In addition, almost 85% of country’s total working population is employed by MSMEs. The government of India understands the criticality of this information. Several schemes and programs are being implemented around the upliftment of MSMEs. MSME Act, New Procurement Policy, Stand up India, Startup India, Make in India, Digital MSME Scheme, SC/ST Hub etc are some of the examples of such commitment from the top level policymakers.

Now having discussed all this, we must clarify why we are discussing all this. Well, SMEStreet, as a media platform dedicated towards SMEs and MSMEs, is bringing to you a series of articles and features which are focused on keeping our readers updated around what are the flagship schemes existing around the MSME ecosystem. We have named it MSME Flagship.

In this piece of article which is the first MSME Flagship article, we will highlight the Government of India’s scheme MSME-centric scheme for SC and ST background and its called as SC/ST Hub.

SC/ST Hub

The government of India envisioned entrepreneurship as an integral part of accomplishing rapid and robust economic growth. To ensure, that benefits of growth spread across all sections of the society, especially the marginalized groups including SC/ST entrepreneurs, the government is trying to make procurement activities of the public sector to more inclusive and participative. In this regard, the “Public Procurement Policy for MSEs” of 2012 mandates that central government ministries, departments and public sector undertakings procure a minimum of 20 percent of their annual value of goods or services from MSEs. In addition, 20% of such procurement from MSEs, i.e. 4% of total procurement of goods and services shall be made from Micro and Small Enterprises owned by SC & ST entrepreneurs. National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) has been chosen as the executive agency of this program. The Hub is implemented by the Ministry of MSME through NSIC, a public sector undertaking under the administrative control of this Ministry of MSME.

While in the past, there has been some increase in the number of SC/ST owned enterprises and this needs to increase substantially to enable the socio-economic empowerment of the SC/ST communities.

Therefore, in an endeavour to mainstream SC/ST groups into the entrepreneurial ecosystem, a number of schemes have been launched by the Ministry of MSME.

To expedite achievement of the policy target, the government has initiated the establishment of the National SC/ST Hub with an aim not only to increase market access and ensure higher participation of SC/ST entrepreneurs in public procurement but also promote the creation of new enterprises. Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MoMSME), has made an initial allocation of Rs. 490 Crore for the period 2016-2020 for the National SC/ST Hub.

The National SC/ST Hub has been set up to provide professional support to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Entrepreneurs to fulfil the obligations under the Central Government Public Procurement Policy for Micro and Small Enterprises Order 2012, adopt applicable business practices and leverage the Stand Up India initiative.

The National SC/ST Hub (NSSH) would provide professional support to the SC/ST enterprises thereby enabling them to effectively participate in the public procurement process. This would involve participation by CPSEs/Central Ministries, States, Industry Associations such as DICCI and others. The Hub would also work towards the development of new entrepreneurs to participate in procurement process leveraging on the ‘Stand up India’ programme. Selected entrepreneurs would be provided with support and mentoring by industry experts, CPSEs, and incubators.

To start with, the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (M/o MSME), has made an initial allocation of Rs. 490 Crore for the period 2016-2020 for the National SC/ST Hub. Discussions with various stakeholders have enabled the Ministry to create an initial agenda for action on this front. While the agenda for action is flexible and would evolve with further inputs from stakeholders and more robust data, initially it attempts to address gaps that exist across multiple drivers of the entrepreneurial eco-system.

The Hub would operate out of the National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) headquartered in Delhi, supported by a special cell created for this purpose. All new and existing SC/ST entrepreneurs would be registered on the MSME Databank (www.msmedatabank.in) of the Ministry of MSME that would form a reliable database to enhance accessibility for the procurement agencies. A separate website www.scsthub.in has been launched to apprise the stakeholders about the activities of the Hub.

Monitoring Committee

Minister of MSME is the chairperson of the committee. The committee members are representatives of various stakeholders including states, various ministries, industry associations & SC/ST entrepreneurs.

Advisory Committee

The Chairperson of this committee is Mr. Milind Kamble, Chairman, DICCI (Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry). This committee would work under the High Powered Monitoring Committee in order to bring the industry and SC/ST entrepreneurs’ perspective to the Hub with the purpose of developing an effective, mutually beneficial relationship between the target group and the Government.

Empowered Project Approval Committee

Secretary, Ministry of MSME chairs this committee. As the Hub is dynamic in nature and would evolve over the envisaged period, the requirement of funds for various activities is likely to evolve depending on the emphasis areas or changes in identified focus areas. This Committee would ensure such flexibilities with a view to accommodate changing requirements of SC/ST entrepreneurs.

 

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