The micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector in the country is next only to agriculture in generating employment, said Dinsha J. Patel, Minister of State (Independent charge) for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) provide huge employment in rural and semi-urban areas and also act as a mechanism for distributing wealth, he added. The minister said that the MSME sector, through its 2.60 crore enterprises, employs around 6 crore people. The sector accounted for approximately 90 percent of the work force, 45 percent of the country's production and 35 per cent of exports, he added. He was at Periavallikulam, Tamil Nadu to inaugurate the safety matches common faculty centre (CFC) of Virudhunagar Match consortium, said that the proposals for establishing six CFCs in safety match cluster had been sanctioned for the state of Tamil Nadu.
The places chosen are Gudiyatham, Sattur, Srivilliputtur, Virudhunagar, Kazhugumalai, and Kovilpatti. The CFC at Periavallikulam in Virudhunagar district was the first one to become operational, the MSME minister said.They have been sanctioned under the MSME - cluster development programme (CDP) with project cost of Rs. 1.56 crore for each CFC, of which Central Government would contribute Rs. 85.54 lakh.He said that the National Manufacturing Competition Programme was launched to help MSMEs face the competition from global markets and multinational companies. Around Rs. 1,000 crore had been earmarked for this Programme during the 11th Five Year Plan, he said.Hukum Singh Meena, Joint Development Commissioner, MSME Ministry, said that the environment created by the CFCs would support MSMEs and help them sustain their bottom line. G. Sundaramurthi, Industries Commissioner, said that Tamil Nadu was the first State in the country to announce a separate policy for MSMEs. Sigy Thomas Vaidhyan, District Collector and V.M.G. Rajasekaran, president, All India Match Federation, N. Pandiarajan, managing director, Virudhunagar Match Consortium also spoke.