Rajnath Singh urges MSMEs to make India self-reliant in the defence sector, says local has to be focal

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Published: May 22, 2020 12:33:02 PM

Today’s theme of the E-conclave was 'Business Continuity for MSMEs in Defence and Aerospace Sector' and more than 800 defence MSMEs participated.

Since the lockdown has come into force, the SIDM has been in constant touch with the top-level officers in the Ministry of Defence as well the armed forces.Since the lockdown has come into force, the SIDM has been in constant touch with the top-level officers in the Ministry of Defence as well the armed forces.

Terming the MSMEs as the backbone of the Indian economy, keeping them strong is one of the priorities of the government, says defence minister Rajnath Singh. Exhorting MSMEs to make India `Atma Nirbhar’ in defence technology and products; in his address at an e-conclave defence minister Rajnath Singh said that “Manufacturing in the defence, the sector has been affected by COVID-19, as the only buyer of the defence products is the government.”The conclave was jointly organized by Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence and Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM).

Since the lockdown has come into force, the SIDM has been in constant touch with the top-level officers in the Ministry of Defence as well the armed forces. And has through various representations made several recommendations for bringing back the private sector and MSMEs on track post COVID.

Outlining the steps the Ministry of Defence has taken to bring back the MSMEs on track, Singh said that “Response dates of RFP/RFI have been extended, instructions for early clearance of pending payments have been made, and also financial support measures have been announced both by the government and RBI. These would help in reducing the financial burden of the industries and will provide some relief.”

Giving his assurance that the ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’ campaign, inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will provide many opportunities to Indian industry, the minister urged all to adopt `swadeshi’.

In his address the minister talked about the measures which have recently been announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman under ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ scheme.

Under the schemes announced, the collateral-free loans of Rs 3 lakh crore for MSMEs will be effective in re-establishing about 45 lakh units. This will help in saving employment. Also, provision of Rs 20,000 crore as subordinate debt has been announced for two lakh MSMEs. The idea is to help the MSMEs which are stressed.

Also, the definition of MSMEs has been changed and it can now be expanded. There will be no distinction between manufacturing and services sector MSMEs.

For helping out the MSMEs who need help, through ‘Mother-Daughter Fund’ equity infusion of Rs 50,000 crore will be provided.

In an effort to help increase the capacity of these units and for marketing a Rs 10,000-crore ‘Fund of Funds’ will be set up.

To help MSMEs grow their business global tenders will not be allowed in government contracts (procurements) worth Rs 200 crore or less.

Since global lockdown, companies have not been able to participate in trade fairs. Efforts are on to provide e-market linkages.

Efforts are to ensure clearance of all outstanding payments in the next 45 days.

Today’s theme of the E-conclave was ‘Business Continuity for MSMEs in Defence and Aerospace Sector’ and more than 800 defence MSMEs participated.

How many MSMEs are there?

There are more than 8,000 MSMEs. They are tiered partners of many of organizations under the Ministry of Defence — Ordnance factories, DPSUs and service organisations. And these MSMEs are contributing more than 20 per cent of the total production of these organizations.

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