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NORTH EAST MSME CONCLAVE held today at Guwahati

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NORTH EAST MSME CONCLAVE

The North East MSME Conclave was organized today on the aspect of Promoting Opportunities for MSMEs in the North Eastern Region at Guwahati Presided over by Narayan Rane, the Union Minister for MSME, in which Chief Ministers,  Ministers, Secretary Ministry of MSME Govt. of India and Officials from the North East States and Sikkim participated.

Bedu Singh Panth Minister, Commerce & Industries, Tourism and Civil Aviation Govt. of Sikkim along with Dr K. Jayakumar Additional Chief Secretary and Yashoda Chettri were at the Conference presenting the progress made in the State of Sikkim in the MSME Sector and placing the needs, requirements and expectations of the entrepreneurs and enterprises from Sikkim.

B S Panth, emphasized the role of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) with its significant share of 30.5% and 30% for 2018-19 and 2019-20 in the national GDP respectively and the need to re-energize efforts to propel the economic engine of growth of our Nation, by promoting the establishment, growth and sustainability of MSME Units in the North East Region.

He went on to say that the contribution of MSMEs accounts for more than 45% of the total industrial production of the country.

All NE States and Sikkim have been making concerted efforts to promote and usher in an enabling eco-systems for the growth of MSME units. In the context of the Hon’ble Prime Minister setting the agenda for economic growth, with his vision for Athmanirbhar Bharat, “being local and reaching global” and emphasising on ‘Make in India’, all our NE States and Sikkim have taken it upon ourselves to usher in entrepreneurial culture that can propel the growth of MSME units.

B S Pant appraised the forum that Sikkim offers an industry friendly environment, evidenced by the fact that 124 Industrial Units have already set up their operations and are functioning successfully. At present the profile and portfolio of Industries includes Pharmaceutical Companies, Food Processing Units, Handicrafts & Hand looms, Light Engineering, Organic Agro produce, Agro Processed Packaged Food Units, Cardamoms, spices, ginger, Buckwheat and Horticultural Crops.

He informed the august gathering that there are 1087 MSME units registered under Udyam Portal in Sikkim with 734 units in East District, 47 units in North District, 179 units in South District and 127 units in West District. He specifically pointed out that Sikkim is governed under the special dispensation of Article 371F of the Constitution of India and the fact that many laws which have been enacted in the past are being retained with improvements were ever necessary by pursuing legislative and executive actions for fulfilment of requirements and compliances.

He went on to mention that the Industries and MSME units are being made to comply with Green Policy of Sikkim, follow zero waste practice initiatives for preserving and promoting bio-diversity, promotion of organic farming practices with importance given to forestry and environment.

As regards MSME units, he mentioned that the state has progressive industrial policies and offers a package of incentives and benefits. Recently the State Govt has approved an MSME policy, which would be widely publicized along with outreach programmes and workshops encouraging the establishment of MSME units in the State at an accelerated pace.  The MSME Policy while encouraging establishment of new units, emphasizes on sustainability and growth. It serves as an enabling framework, with supporting precepts, overarching perspective of goals sought to be achieved, and also announces a spate of incentives and subsidies. The policy provisions include 100% exemption from stamp duty,  50% exemption from state GST, 25% interest subsidy & 50% subsidy on logistic support.

Green incentives have also been extended, such as 50% cost for water audit and energy audit, 50% reimbursement for developing greenery around the industrial plant, and facilitation services provided to MSMEs for availing ZED Incentives introduced by the Ministry of MSME leveraging improved technologies to safeguard the environment.

As regards ease of doing business, he appraised that workshops have been held with identification of processes which are being taken up for automation with re-engineered business processes, reducing the compliance burden and implementing a spate of measures – ranging from auto-renewals subject to required compliances, longer periods for registrations and licensing, simplified forms and reduced formalities for availing various services during the lifecycle of MSME units.

He detailed the manner in which the State Government has made concerted efforts to promote MSME Units in the State of Sikkim. He mentioned the local youths Skilled Youth Start-up Scheme, under which unemployed local youths are provided 35% to 50% subsidy linked credit loan for various entrepreneurship activities.

He appraised the members of the notification of the special economic zone at Namli 8th Mile Ranipool, East Sikkim, the flatted factory complex which has been approved under the Scheme for Promotion of MSMEs in the NER and Sikkim. The efforts taken to submit another proposal for flatted factory to be set up in Jorethang South Sikkim, three bamboo processing units at Poklok Kamrang in South Sikkim, Marchak in East Sikkim, was highlighted.

The progress in the setting up of the MSE Cluster Development Project being implemented for production of the unique Sikkim carpets at Okhrey and the projects that has been prepared for submission under the Sfruti Cluster Scheme of the Ministry of MSME, relating to Shitake Mushroom Projects at Soreng, Sumbuk and Namthang; Vermicomposter production at Soreng, Leisure water Sports at DANS Energy Dam Pipaley South Sikkim, Ginseng Processing Unit at Upper Sadam South Sikkim and a Handicraft cluster at Dong Poklok Kamrang South Sikkim was mentioned by Minister.  

On the issues and problems faced with regard to the promotion of MSME units, Minister pointed out to the need for capacity development and support for MSME units with regard to facilitation and assistance for development of ideas, conceptualizing business strategies, product design, preparation of feasibility reports, market surveys, and management consultancy for sustainable operations are still challenges for MSME units, especially for units planning to pursue manufacturing activities.

As regards Central Govt. efforts for accelerated growth of MSME units and specifying a target of 20% year-on-year growth in terms of credit flow to MSME units, the current rate for credit finances to MSME units is only 4% for the state of Sikkim.

He mentioned how entrepreneurs face challenges in respect of fulfilling documentation for proposals to be submitted to the financial institutions under the Schemes of the Central Govt such as Stand Up India and Mudra Schemes. He brought to the attention of the Union Minister the fact that pan India recruitment of bank officials is not giving fruitful results, since these officers consider their posting in hill areas as a compulsory mandated stint that they need to endure and try to avail leave, creating difficulties for the aspiring youth wanting to avail credit flows to establish their units. Furthermore, he went on to mention that they do not have knowledge of local conditions, aspirations and challenges faced by the local population and suggested that it would be better if the Bank Managers are recruited locally in the NE States and Sikkim.

In his concluding remarks, he mentioned that the extension of NEIDS for another term of five years may not be adequate to attract investors in Sikkim, since it has subsidy cap of Rs 5 crores only. He pointed to the fact that earlier all the CMs of North East have submitted proposal in one voice to Prime Minister to extend NEIIPP for another term of 10 years with elaborate provisions of subsidies and many companies have raised this issue. 

He expressed that it is the earnest desire of all NE States and Sikkim that improved forms of offering further expanded repertoire of incentives and benefits is considered and announced by the Union Government to usher in an industry friendly regime and ecosystem for MSME Growth in the NE States and Sikkim.

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