Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Despite majority MSMEs being aware of the benefits available to them under PM Modi’s Atmanirbhar campaign, not many are looking to avail them. According to a survey of 400 MSMEs across India in June by consulting firm Kantar, 68 per cent were aware of at least one benefit under the campaign but only 32 per cent were considering availing at least one benefit offered. Moreover, nearly one-third of the respondents were not even aware of any benefits and schemes launched by the government as part of the Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package announced in May this year. Even for the Rs 3 lakh crore emergency credit line guarantee scheme announced by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for Covid-hit MSMEs, only 22 per cent respondents were aware of it while only 4 per cent said that they would avail it. In fact, only 38 per cent believed the scheme to be helpful for their business.
“It is not just about awareness, in certain cases, it is also about their relevance for businesses. “Some initiatives are very pointed for certain business type possibly with the idea that it can be replicated in the larger ecosystem,” Biswapriya Bhattacharjee, Executive Vice President, Insights Division, Kantar told Financial Express Online. For instance, central government and PSUs clearing receivables in 45 days may also encourage large private organisations to follow suit but from the government perspective, there may not be as many PSUs to touch the government ecosystem. So the relevance for MSMEs here may not be high, he added.
The awareness around the recently launched subordinate debt scheme of Rs 20,000 crore for stressed MSMEs or NPAs was relatively better among 32 per cent respondents while only 6 per cent said they would avail it. Importantly, 45 per cent believed it to be of no help for businesses. The awareness level for other benefits such as GST and income tax filing extensions, debt provisions and lower interest bank loan facility was comparatively high among respondents.
Meanwhile, small businesses, which were looking to benefit from the growing anti-China sentiments to boycott use and import of Chinese goods in India, are yet to see any significant benefits in terms of new opportunities. 79 per cent of the 345 MSMEs surveyed by credit rating agency Care Ratings claimed that they are not getting new contracts from large manufacturers even as there has been a push for ‘vocal for local’ and Make in India goods.