Coronavirus: Centre working on agro MSME policy, says Union Minister Nitin Gadkari

By Press Trust of India|5th May 2020
The agro policy will focus on entrepreneurship development in rural, tribal, agricultural, and forest areas for manufacturing products using local raw materials, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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The Indian government is working on an agro MSME policy which will focus on entrepreneurship development in rural, tribal, agricultural, and forest areas for manufacturing products using local raw material, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday.


Farmers




The minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Road Transport and Highways was speaking during meetings held via video conferencing with the representatives of SME Chamber of India, SME Export Promotion Council, and representatives of beauty and wellness industry on the impact of COVID-19 on MSMEs, according to an MSME ministry release.


Gadkari called upon the industry to ensure that necessary preventive measures are taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus. He emphasised upon the usage of PPE, face masks, and hand sanitiser, and advised the industry to maintain social distancing norms during business operations.


The minister highlighted the need to focus on export enhancement, as well as import substitution, to replace imports with domestic production.


He observed that the industry should focus more on innovation, entrepreneurship, science and technology, research skill, and experiences to convert knowledge into wealth.


The minister recalled that the Government of Japan has offered a special package to its industries for taking out Japanese investments from China and moving elsewhere. He opined that it is an opportunity for India which should be grabbed.


He further emphasised that work on the new alignment of Delhi-Mumbai Green Express Highway has already started, and this is an opportunity for the industry to make future investments in industrial clusters and logistics parks, equipped with state-of-art technology.


Gadkari also opined that there is a need to expand the horizon of industrial clusters in areas other than metro cities, and urged industries for participation.


He suggested to the wellness and beauty industry to encourage the use of Indian Ayurvedic products instead of imported products.


Gadkari informed that the Ministry of MSME has signed an MoU with AYUSH Ministry to promote the AYUSH sector through various schemes of Ministry of MSMEs in the areas of training, skilling, hand-holding, and entrepreneurship development.


He also advised that members of the wellness and beauty industry should register as MSMEs so that they could benefit from various schemes of the Ministry of MSME.


During interactions, the representatives expressed concerns regarding various challenges being faced by various MSMEs amid COVID-19 pandemic, along with a few suggestions and requested support from the government to keep the sector afloat.


Edited by Suman Singh

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