The Narendra Modi government on Tuesday launched a three-year project in partnership with industry body CII to enable technology adoption among MSMEs in India, as it looks to create 5 crore jobs in five years in the sector, increase its share to 50 per cent of the GDP in five years etc. “We are organising 10-12 workshops from October onwards in cities that have industrial clusters. We are looking to impact around 10,000 MSMEs through this project,” Pikender Pal Singh, Senior Director & Head CII – Centre of Excellence for Competitiveness for SMEs told Financial Express Online.
Launched by the MSME minister Nitin Gadkari, the project called Tech-Saksham has on-boarded technology giants including Dell, HP, Intel, Vodafone Idea, WhatsApp and Yes Bank to help MSMEs overcome challenges in adopting technology including awareness and cost of technology purchase or maintenance, resources and manpower required to run the technologies, return on investments, etc., the ministry said in a statement.
The project, according to the ministry would focus on making MSMEs competitive on a global scale, increase their contribution to country exports and leverage cost efficiencies. In its first phase, the project would focus on MSMEs in sectors that “are labour-intensive and have the propensity to respond positively to tech-adoption, and will spark a larger discussion in other MSME clusters,” the ministry added. The platform would help MSMEs overcome said challenges through multiple policy recommendations, knowledge sessions, mentoring initiatives etc.
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“We are also launching a technology portal that will have e-learning modules, which we are conceptualising, about technology through which we want to reach out around 5 lakh MSMEs across India,” added Singh. Indian MSME sector comprises around 63.4 million units and contributes around 6.11 per cent of the manufacturing GDP and 24.63 per cent of the GDP from service activities. The sector accounts for 33.4 per cent of the country’s manufacturing output and provides employment to around 120 million people, according to CII. In terms of exports, the MSMEs contribution stands at around 45 per cent of the overall exports.
Nitin Gadkari was speaking at an event to boost the Khadi sector along with its turnover and sought private sector’s participation to promote the sector that houses large number of MSMEs. The minister assured support to Khadi units in terms of reducing the cost of capital to bring mechanization and modernization and also cutting logistics and power costs. The turnover for Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) increased from “around Rs 889 crore in 2014 to Rs 3215 crore,” said Vinay Kumar Saxena, Chairman, KVIC.