New Delhi, Aug 30 : The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, gave away the National Awards to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector here on Saturday.
Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Mahabir Prasad presided over the function.
The awardees included successful entrepreneurs in the MSME sector, khadi and village industries and coir sector under different categories.
Addressing participants, the Prime Minister elaborated the importance of the MSME sector for employment generation.
"The very positive contribution that this sector makes to employment is of utmost importance to our vision of shared and equitable growth. This sector provides employment to over 42 million people. It contributes about 45 per cent of the total manufacturing output and nearly 40 per cent of India's exports. It is the capacity of this sector to generate economic activity at the local level that prompted Gandhiji to give the pride of place to Khadi. He dreamt of an India comprising of self contained villages using local raw materials, local skills, serving local markets and providing employment to people locally near the places where they live," said Singh.
The Prime Minister further elaborated the resilience and the adaptability of this sector in the wake of a changing economic scenario.
"This sector has shown continued dynamism in terms of growth in the number of enterprises, production and the capacity to contribute to manufacturing output and exports. There were apprehensions about the impact of liberalization on the growth of this sector. However, experience during the past decade has amply demonstrated that this sector cannot only survive competition, but can also grow faster than the overall manufacturing sector. This demonstrates the high degree of resilience, entrepreneurial skills and the capacity for adaptation of people operating in this important sector," he added.
There were some special awards for women, Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and the entrepreneurs from North Eastern region. Banks that have excelled in lending to the MSME sector were also given the awards.
The first national awards and special awards for women, SC, ST and North East region categories consisted of rupee one lakh in cash, a certificate and a trophy.
The second national awards consist of a cash prize of seventy five thousand rupees, a certificate and a trophy while the third national award consists of rupees fifty thousand in cash, a certificate and a trophy.
The National award function was organized by the four important organizations under the Ministry of MSME, namely, the office of the Development Commissioner (MSME), the National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC), the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) and the Coir Board.