MSMEs need to embrace tech to enhance global competitiveness: Pratap Chandra Sarangi

For MSMEs to thrive in the international market, there is a need to focus on three important factors: reducing capital cost, power cost, and logistics cost, he said at an ASSOCHAM webinar.
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Domestic micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will have to embrace technology and focus on value addition to enhance their global competitiveness, said Pratap Chandra Sarangi, Minister of State for MSME, at an ASSOCHAM webinar on Monday.

For MSMEs to thrive in the international market, there is a need to focus on three important factors: reducing capital cost, power cost, and logistics cost, he said.

ASSOCHAM quoted Sarangi in a statement saying:

"We are working on a policy to strengthen the export business. The government is also working on a policy to increase indigenous production of products that are being imported."

He added that the ministry is taking steps towards making these enterprises global and improving the overall business environment, by making it more conducive and transparent for all stakeholders.

Earlier this week, ASSOCHAM demanded from the government a 'concentrated and right kind' of relief package for the MSME sector, which was most affected by COVID-19 pandemic.

"There is a need for a relief package that has to be directed very carefully. We at ASSOCHAM believe that both the Centre and the states need to come together with certain plans, so that we can give concentrated, focused, and the right kind of relief to whoever needs it the most," ASSOCHAM President Vineet Agarwal said.

Suggesting some measures, he said banks should increase the working capital limit of MSMEs by 20 percent but not charge any extra collateral.

Secondly, re-classification of NPAs of MSMEs should be done, Agarwal said.

Thirdly, street vendors, small shopkeepers should be provided with some sort of relief, direct benefit, working capital loan, he added.

"As last time, some relief measures were taken specifically for the rural sector, a similar step once again should be taken," he said.

On the impact of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, he said, "As we saw during the first wave as well, the larger companies were able to come out of it much faster. We are seeing that MSMEs are facing the brunt of issues now. So many of them are facing demand cuts. Some of them are not receiving their payments on time."

Edited by Megha Reddy