As reported by the Press Information Bureau, the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has announced that it will launch a national hub to promote SC/ST entrepreneurs in Ludhiana on October 8, 2016.
Union Minister of MSME, Kalraj Mishra said that his ministry has made an initial allotment of allocation of Rs 490 crore for the period 2016–2020 for the National SC/ST Hub.
The hub will hand-hold entrepreneurs with market access/linkage, monitoring, capacity building, financial support schemes, and industry best practices. Supported by a special cell, the hub will be operated from the National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) headquarters, New Delhi.
Minister of State, MSME, Shri Giriraj Singh said,
We should work at the grassroots level and start working on a pilot basis with CPSEs in the districts having large presence of SC/ST entrepreneurs.”
Formation of committees
Various committees were formed to escalate the functioning of the hub, among which the High Powered Monitoring Committee headed by Minister for MSME; Advisory Committee headed by Shri Milind Kamble, President DICCI; and Empowered Project Approval Committee headed by Secretary, MSME are three.
The Empowered Project Approval Committee approved various proposals in the meeting held on August 16 under the chairmanship of Secretary, MSME.
One such proposal was regarding the Subsidy of Single Point Registration Scheme (SSPRS) for SC/ST enterprises for participation in government purchases. A nominal fee of Rs 100 per unit of SC/ST enterprises will be charged under the scheme.
Under the Special Marketing Scheme (SMAS) to provide marketing support, SC/ST units will get double the rate of country-specified daily allowance as per MEA guidelines including expenses for accommodation and transport etc. The transport cost for participation in vendor development programmes will be reimbursed to SC/ST units.
Renewal subsidy will be given only to the SC/ST units having a rating upto five and additional subsidy for SC/ST units to be 15 percent.
The public procurement mandated four percent annual procurement by Central Ministries/ Departments and Public Sector Undertakings from SC/ST enterprises. At present, the procurement is less than one percent owing to low participation of the community.
The number of SC/ST-owned enterprises has increased in the past but the number needs to be scaled up to enable the socio-economic empowerment of SC/ST communities. Moreover, the MSME Ministry directed DICCI, industry associations, banks, and relevant ministries to contribute suggestions for the betterment of the hub.
Representatives of industry associations, DICCI, CII, FICCI, FISME, and the India SME Forum have appreciated the initiative of creating this hub and offered their suggestions to bridge the demand-supply gap.