CII outlines ten-point agenda for SMEs

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Mumbai, Jul 10 (UNI) National Council Micro Small&Medium Enterprises (MSME) of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) chairman Ramesh Datla today presented a ten-point agenda to increase the competitiveness of the small and mid-size industries in the global market.

''We need to increase interaction between Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across the world and promote cross-access of markets between Indian SMEs and others in parts of the world,'' said Mr Datla at a meet here.

To promote efficiency and competitiveness, he said the Council had proposed launching 800 'visionary' SMEs across board on the lines of Japanese conglormates like Toyota and Honda, which will operate with long-term goals. Focus of these specialized clusters would be innovation.

In addition, CII will launch five lean manufacturing clusters that will impact 50 SMEs to enhance their competiveness and strenghten their linkages with larger industries. This would later be increased to 150.

Promotion of latest Information and Communication Technology (ICT) with 100 per cent depreciation given to SMEs for IT equipment worth upto Rs 25 lakh in a block of three years has also been proposed.

A dynamic and interactive portal for SMEs will also be launched by CII and HSBC Bank to provide free and fee-based information on a range of information on finance, rates, consultancy services and general queries.

For meeting the capital requirements of SMEs, the Council has proposed the establishment of a SME exchange to be run under the National Stock Exchange (NSE) or Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) to create capital source from Rs 4 crore to Rs 40 crore for SMEs.

It is also holding talks with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to enable SMEs to access funds from NRIs and diaspora through single window operation.

''Many SMEs are shy of tapping this source, when there are many with relatives and friends abroad, who would be willing to invest,'' said Mr Datla.

''We have also requested the RBI to raise the threshold from Rs one lakh to Rs five lakh for sick units,'' he added.

Implementation of the MSMED Act at state levels, reduction of litigation through simplification of fiscal and regulatory frameworks. The MSMED Act has only been implemented in Rajasthan, he said.

Enactment of Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) Act ''that would encourage entrepreneurship and risk taking'' has also been proposed.

Other items in the agenda include promotion of environmentally friendly technologies, encouraging efficiency and self-reliance in consumption of energy, generating awareness on HIV/AIDS, inclusion of minorities and SC/ST-run units and institutionalising excellence among SMEs.

''SMEs face challenges mainly in the areas of financing, market and technology accessibility and retaining markets. We are holding regular talks with Reserve Bank of India, Ministries and bankers to promote the cause of the MSMEs,'' said Mr Datla.

The ten-point agenda has been framed in line with CII's ''India at 75'' vision that aims to make India home to 30 of the world's top Fortune 100 firms, account for 10 per cent of global trade, possess the largest pool in technically-trained manpower and be a source of global innovation, arts and science.


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