Most of the authorities look at entrepreneurs as crooks or criminals and doubt them with contempt. On the contrary, they deserve respect and should be given regard for creation of employment and revenue.
By Manguirish Pai Raikar
In India, there is a need for us to change the attitude towards entrepreneurs before we focus on boosting entrepreneurship. Every entrepreneur brings on board the latest technology, create employment and holds the responsibility of sustainability of more than one family in society. His/her total involvement of time, money, youthful enthusiasm and commitment for hard work, has generated employment and revenue to the government.
Change in Perspective
I would like to emphasize on all the efforts one has put in to find and retain the market, maintain the quality of the product, file returns on time, ensure timely payment to his employees as well as suppliers and all other commitments like utilities etc. And after this if one is made to spend time in complying with the archaic administrative procedures, which at times are repetitive in nature, then it will definitely restrict the opportunity of growth. It can only be said that it is definitely not helping rather inhibiting us from realising the dream of new India.
Most of the authorities look at entrepreneurs as crooks or criminals and doubt them with contempt. On the contrary, they deserve respect and should be given regard for creation of employment and revenue. This much-needed change of attitude should be there in the government authorities who come with superior outlook. It is important for us to understand the fact that it is ultimately the wealth creator or an entrepreneur who fills the coffers of the government enabling its livelihood and making the development projects possible.
GST is now operational and has helped to open borders for small players and also enabled them for a competitive edge. Since most of the entrepreneurs are single-handed managing their day-to-day affairs, sometimes it becomes difficult to understand the regular changes and the implementation. It is a sincere request to the MSME Ministry to take up GST training programmes especially in the smaller centres. Also, the ministry should subsidize the accounting programmes used in the implementation of GST. Filing annual returns has become cumbersome because of the difficulty in the reconciliation process.
I would like to suggest that the MSME board should arrange study tours in the developed countries to see the operational aspects of the Industrial estates/ parks. The study will enable to bring about changes in the existing structure and working of the MSME units. It will also help to establish global standards of manufacturing processes, pollution control measures adopted, occupational safety and environment parameters followed by the developed countries. This exposure will also enable them to understand the latest innovative processes and inculcate global practices and even have joint ventures with them.
The Prime Minister’s ideas, which have channelised the youth and spurred the growth of entrepreneurship in the country, need to be assisted and guided from time-to-time in order to make them world-class and globally competitive. For this logistic support is very essential. Therefore along with the manufacturing parks, logistic parks also need to be given space.
Digitalisation process has enveloped the country hence the stakeholders of the MSME sector cannot be isolated. It has been found in the mofussil areas where the small and medium scale industries are operational and providing substantial employment are devoid of this training. The MSME regional offices may be instructed to conduct their programs in such rural areas and panchayat community halls or the local school halls could be used to conduct such programs.
Several other steps need to be taken to further help the entrepreneur. There is apathy in the PSUs in picking vendors among MSMEs. They are supposed to reserve 20 per cent of their purchases from MSMEs. However, they find ways and means to bypass this reservation. Secondly, many vendors who are in the large category falsely register themselves as small or medium units and enter the tendering system reserved for the MSME exclusively. Even as this is time and again brought to the notice of the officials there has been no satisfactory action against the culprit.
There is a strong request from the industry that such cases should be investigated thoroughly and the officials hand in glove with the culprits be severely punished while the units falsely registered should be blacklisted. This should be set as a test case so that any further incident of such nature would not occur.
(Manguirish Pai Raikar is the Chairman – MSME at Assocham National Council. Views expressed are the author’s own.)