Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Minister of state for MSME Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma informed parliament that 15.07 lakh Udyam-registered MSMEs in handloom, handicraft and agro-based production sector have 43.15 lakh women employees across India. According to the data shared in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha by Verma on Thursday, out of all Indian states and union territories (UTs), Maharashtra topped the list with 2,47,318 registered MSMEs in the sector followed by Tamil Nadu with 2,16,482 units and Gujarat with 1,92,707.
However, Tamil Nadu had the the highest number of women employees in the Udyam-registered units in handloom, handicraft and agro-based production sector. According to the data, 11,13,645 women were employed in these units in Tamil Nadu followed by 4,64,076 women employed in similar enterprises in Maharashtra and 4,48,112 in Karnataka.
In contrast, with 36 MSMEs employing 65 women, Lakshadweep had the lowest share in the country while north eastern states including Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya had only 140, 513, 673, enterprises respectively, Verma noted in the data shared as he responded to a question on atmanirbhar bharat package to support MSMEs.
Handicraft is among the critical sectors for the government in order to boost growth of small businesses and India’s exports. Earlier in November this year, Jagdeep Dhankhar, Vice President of India today had said that India’s handicrafts are the living heritage as he appealed to all consumers of handicraft to appreciate local and be vocal about it. He also noted that the handicraft industry in India is dominated by female artisans who form over 56 per cent of the total artisans.
Moreover, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in November had also said that the handloom industry should diversify the products for boosting profitability as well as attracting more youth to handloom products.