In a veiled attack on the opposition, Union Minister Giriraj Singh said today that small and mid-size firms were providing jobs to at least 10 crore people annually and those who cannot see this must change their spectacles. Even if 70 per cent of these jobs provide income of below Rs 10,000, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are providing employment to at least 10 crore people annually, he said. “People say that employment means that you get a package of Rs 20 lakh (annually), the scenario in the country is such. Those who cannot see must change their spectacles,” Singh said while addressing a conference here. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had earlier said the BJP-led NDA government has failed to create jobs. “Government has failed in this matter. Government is a complete failure in job creation. That’s my main point,” he had said.
According to Singh, the importance which the MSME sector deserves was not given to it either by the media or the public sector enterprises. The government plans to launch an initiative to convert the entire unorganised MSME sector into organised using the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data, he said. “There were discussions recently that employment is not being generated. Based on the NSSO data, we will launch a new initiative to convert the entire unorganised sector into organised sector,” said the MSME minister. He said that 80 per cent of jobs in industry is given by MSME with just 20 per cent of investment.
“I only appeal to you that all of us should be emotional. When you provide support to small entrepreneurs you promote their overall growth. Procurement worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore was done by state-owned firms, in my knowledge. If our (MSE) share is even 20 per cent, it will be a huge quantum, especially for SC/STs,” Singh said. The minister launched the ‘MSME Sambandh’ portal which will monitor the implementation of the Public Procurement from MSEs (micro and small enterprises) by central public sector enterprises. Singh appealed to the stakeholders to take advantage of the portal thereby fulfilling the mandate given to them. He said that such a portal would gel with the government initiatives like on promoting ‘ease of doing business’ and ‘Make in India’.
MSME Secretary A K Panda said micro and small enterprises would be able to access the information about the products being procured by CPSEs and help them participate in the process. The Procurement Policy launched in 2012 mandates the Central Government Departments/CPSUs to procure necessarily from MSEs. Every Central ministry/department/PSU is required to set an annual goal for procurement from the MSE sector at the beginning of the year so as to meet the procurement goal of minimum of 20 per cent of the total annual purchases of the products or services produced or rendered by MSEs.