Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Union Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises on Wednesday said that the MSME ministry will raise GST related issues faced by the small and medium enterprises with the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to provide some relief to the sector.
Speaking at the ‘MSME Ecosystem’ summit, organised by FICCI on the theme – ‘Connecting Dots & Bridging Gaps’, Gadkari said, “Some problems exist even after the introduction of GST. Whatever your concerns are, I will speak to the finance minister about it and try to find solutions for the sector.”
Gadkari highlighted that the government is also planning to introduce a credit rating system for the MSMEs which will help them to raise funds through the capital market. “We are planning for a digital database credit rating so that the industry members with good credit ratings can easily go to the capital markets,” he said.
He also urged the industry to focus on rural and tribal areas for expansion and reducing the cost of production. These areas have both land and manpower available at a much lower cost as compared to the urban areas, he added. “If more industries are set up in these areas, we can effectively address the problems of urban areas. We are making policies on this basis,” said Gadkari.
He emphasized on the need to increase exports and reduce import dependence. “If we want to become competitive in international markets, we must reduce our capital cost as well as logistics cost,” he said.
Sandip Somany, President, FICCI, said that the MSME sector had a very significant role to play in the country’s economic performance. “At present, the definition of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME)s is based on investment in plant and machinery for manufacturing MSMEs and investment in equipment for service sector MSMEs. The need for change in this definition has been necessitated and raised by various stakeholders,” said Somany.
Archana Garodia Gupta, Chairperson, FICCI MSME Committee & Director, Touchstone Gems and Jewellery India Pvt. Ltd highlighted the importance of women entrepreneurs in the MSME sector and urged the government to provide dedicated industrial parks to support women entrepreneurs.
Sanjay Bhatia, President, FICCI-CMSME & MD, Hindustan Tin Works Ltd said that currently many services providing MSMEs are not mentioned under the list of 358 reserved items procured from MSEs. “Services from MSEs should be reserved under the scheme of reserved items for purchase from MSEs,” he said.
Rajneesh Kumar, Member, FICCI Committee on Retail & Internal Trade & Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Flipkart Group and Pranav Bhasin, Member, FICCI MSME E-Commerce Task Force & Head, MSME Empowerment Initiative, Amazon India, also shared their perspective on the sector.