Skilling, finance options to boost small set-ups

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Published: March 1, 2015 2:10:41 AM

The Union Budget for 2015-16 will go a long way in furthering Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign...

The Union Budget for 2015-16 will go a long way in furthering Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign, which is an effort to encourage more companies to produce in the country. Finance minister Arun Jaitley has announced several measures that will make it easier for entrepreneurs to do business in India, especially smaller companies that are often struggling for loans.

The government plans to create a Micro Units Development Refinance Agency Bank (MUDRA) with a corpus of R20,000 crore, and credit guarantee corpus of R3,000 crore, to finance these small units through a new scheme called Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana. The FM also proposed establishing an Electronic Trade Receivables Discounting System (EreDS), which will help financing of trade receivables for MSMEs from multiple financiers, and improve liquidity.

The finance minister also emphasised the launch of a National Skills Mission, an attempt to consolidate skill initiatives across various ministries. He also spoke of creating a separate ministry for skill development. In this context, the minister laid special emphasis on rural India, which still has a huge untapped workforce. An additional R1,500 crore was committed towards the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gramin Kaushal Yojana, which will be digitally disbursed.

“India is one of the youngest nations in the world with more than 54% of the total population below 25 years of age. Yet today less than 5% of our potential workforce gets formal skill training to be employable and stay employable,” said Jaitley.

Skilling rural India is expected to seed entrepreneurship in villages. The FM also commented on the aspect of job creation that would take place with more manufacturing. “While large corporate and business entities have a role to play, this has to be complemented by informal sector enterprises that generate maximum employment,” the FM said.

A bunch of other initiatives in indirect taxes, excise, wealth-tax, transfer pricing, and GST were taken to make the business environment conducive. “The Budget was all about ease of doing business, but the infrastructure doesn’t happen overnight,” said Rahul Bajaj, chairman, Bajaj Auto.

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