Skilling, Labour, and Talent for MSMEs: The number of trainees entering the Entrepreneurship Skill Development Programme (ESDP), among key schemes by the Modi government to promote entrepreneurship in India, has seen a jump of 378 per cent this year so far. From 3,535 programmes involving 49,548 trainees around January this year, 7,629 programmes were organised involving 2,37,192 trainees till December 22, 2020, according to the data available on the Development Commissioner (MSME) portal for ESDP. Moreover, the total expenditure incurred so far stood at nearly Rs 27.90 crore while total revenue was Rs 2.91 crore.
“While the steps taken by the government are welcome but one has to look at the on-ground impact of the scheme. There doesn’t seem to be much currently. It is not about the trainees entering the programme but enterprises being set-up by them after the programme. One has to also look at further support provided to acquire land, capital, talent, etc. to launch an enterprise. Even if 40,000-50,000 are able to become entrepreneurs that will immediately have an impact on the ecosystem in India,” Vishwanath, Co-chairman, Industry Committee, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry had told Financial Express Online.
The scheme aimed to encourage youth including scheduled caste and scheduled tribe men and women, differently-abled, and below poverty line people apart from ex-servicemen to become entrepreneurs. The government had last year in November issued guidelines on upscaled ESDP involving multiple activities viz, a two-day Industrial Motivational Campaign (IMC), two-week Entrepreneurship Awareness Programme (EAP), Entrepreneurship-cum-Skill Development Programme (E-SDP) for six weeks, and Management Development Programme (MDP) for one week. The programmes have an intake capacity of 50-100 people in IMC for youth, 30-60 people in IMC for clusters, associations, and chambers; and 25 people in EAP, E-SDP, and MDP each.
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“In order to help youth to become an entrepreneur, and to help them procure prerequisite skills, the government had sanctioned over Rs 135 crore under the Entrepreneurship Skill Development Programme (ESDP) for organizing various skill development programs along with state government, industry bodies, social enterprises, etc. In 2019, 3,000 such programs were conducted and sanctioned. The industry bodies and various other elements of the society have also taken the onus of partnering in the program and run their own skill development units to help achieve the goal,” Dr. Niranjan Hiranandani is President –ASSOCHAM & NAREDCO & MD, Hiranandani group wrote in an article for Financial Express Online earlier this year.
Importantly, the government had in July this year eased the registration process for new entrepreneurs setting up their enterprises. It had launched a new online portal – Udyam registration to let small businesses register paperless and based on self-declaration. Small businesses now don’t have to upload any documents or proof except the Aadhaar number for registration. The MSME Ministry has also organized a single-window system at Champions Control Rooms (set up at MSME Development Institutes across India) and district industries centres for facilitating the process.