New Delhi, April 9: Praising small businesses, notably for contributing towards growth and providing jobs to some 12 crore people, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised to empower them and said a new self-employment scheme will address the aspirations of their children.
"I know that the times are changing. As your children grow up, their thoughts and aspirations are very different from yours," the prime minister said in an open letter to small businesses such as vegetable sellers, milkmen, grocers, washermen, newspaper vendors, weavers and flower-sellers.
"For them (children), we are setting up a Setu (self-employment and talent utilisation) mechanism to support all aspects of a start-up business -- from credit to incubation," he said, further to the launch of the Mudra bank with Rs.20,000-crore corpus to extend credit to micro enterprises.
According to the prime minister, while many think that large companies dominate, in reality it is the mass of over 5.5 crore small units that drives the economy through manufacturing, trading and extending services.
"You are all the backbone of the nation."
Modi: You should be protected from any financial crisis
He also said that if the hands of such small enterprises were strengthened, they would be able to run their businesses easily, with easy credit for day-to-day activities, material for operations and markets for products, without harassment by officials.
"You should be protected from any financial crisis and feel secure about your future," he said, listing some of the initiatives already launched for them by his government, such as 24/7 power scheme, a pension plan, an accident cover for Rs.2 lakh and a life insurance of equal amount.
"On the whole, we Indians are a proud, self-made people. We live with dignity and self-respect, and stand on our own feet in the worst of times. If we are given wings, we will fly. I am, thus, committed to empowering you to do so. And I am confident you can, and you will."