New Delhi, Sep 13 (UNI) India's micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have emerged as a vibrant sector of the economy, accounting for 50 per cent of the industrial production and 45 per cent of its exports valued at 56 billion dollars ( 2005 figures), an official said.
With 12.5 million units employing over 30 million people, MSMEs are expected to grow at the rate of 13 per cent and generate additional 1.3 million jobs per annum during the 2007-2012 plan period, MSMEs Ministry Additional Secretary and Development Commissioner Jawhar Sircar said.
He was addressing the first International Conference on ''India-Africa Cooperation in Industry, Trade and Investment'' being held here today.
Mr Sircar detailed MSMEs development as a tool of Industrial policy aimed at generating employment, dispersal of industry to reduce regional disparities, utilisation of local skills and resources, and to meet local demands.
India's policies for such enterprises are most appropriate for developing countries and are viewed as a role model especially in Africa, participants said while responding to a presentation on '''SMEs - The Indian Perspective'' made by Mr Sircar.
The five-day conference, organised by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in cooperation with the Indian Government, is being held under the aegis of the UNIDO Centre for South-South industrial Cooperation (UCSSIC).
As per new Indian Act, enterprises with investment up to 55,000 dollars are classified as micro, 60,000 dollars to 1.2 million dollars as small, and 1.2 million dollars to 2.5 million dollars as medium enterprises.
The government has effected changes in policy and support as per the emerging needs of globalisation to enable Indian SMEs to gain a competitive edge, he said, adding these changes related to WTO compatibility, availability of finance, technology upgradation, and skill development.