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MSME ministry should be given more powers: Feels SME sector
Among the several ministries of the government there is a Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSME) ministry also, that is assigned with the job of looking after the welfare of SME industries. Though not much talked about, this ministry handles a very important component of the Indian economy i.e. SMEs.

During the UPA government KH Muniyappa was the MSME minister. Who will handle the charge of MSME ministry in the NDA regime, will be an important thing the SME sector is waiting for to happen.

However, since Narendra Modi's mantra is 'less government, more governance', which is an indication toward maintaining a small council of ministries, one should not get surprised if MSME ministry is merged with some other ministry.

Rajiv Chawla, president of Faridabad Small Industries Association, while focusing on the importance of MSME ministry for the SME sector said that the ministry has been very helpful for them with a separate 'MSMED act 2006'.

“The portfolio has been helping SME sector offering subsidies, various SME requirements, coordinating with banks, offering platform for various programmes and organising international trade fairs,” said Chawla.

He added that it would be better if the SME portfolio plans and facilitates share of credit, easy credit of banks, government procurements for the SME sector.

“The government should give more power to MSME ministry and mandate to run two-three small banks under the ministry to facilitate easy credit to the sector,” said Chawla.

The country's PM-designate has already promised to watch the MSME sector with all the best possible ways. The sector accounts 8% to country's GDP and the largest provider of employment after agriculture industry.

Vipin Malhan, president of Noida Entrepreneurs Association while highlighting the importance of MSME ministry said, “Off-course the MSME ministry plays a great role and has been helping the SME sector by providing subsidises, equipments, overseas export facility and platform to grow”.

According to the ministry's official website, the ministry implements policies and various programmes schemes and provides infrastructure and support services to MSME's under the Office of the Development Commissioner, National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC), Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC); the Coir Board, and three training institutes viz., National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD), NOIDA, National Institute for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (NI-MSME), Hyderabad, Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (lIE), Guwahati and Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Rural Industrialization (MGIRI), Wardha a society registered under Societies Registration Act, 1860.

The ministry has also set up the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act in 2006 to address policy issues affecting MSMEs as well as the coverage and investment ceiling of the sector. The Act seeks to facilitate the development of these enterprises as also enhance their competitiveness. It provides the first-ever legal framework for recognition of the concept of "enterprise" which comprises both manufacturing and service entities.

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