Indian Minister for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) Nitin Gadkari told parliament recently that his Ministry aims to raise the number of MSMEs in the country on a sustainable basis through various schemes and programmes. The Ministry is providing better credit facility and technology and skill upgradation to boost the MSME ecosystem, he said.

Gadkari said that a total of 5.45 lakh micro enterprises have been assisted with a margin money subsidy of Rs. 12,074.04 cr, offering employment opportunities to an estimated 45.22 lakh persons since the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) was initiated on March 31 this year.

PMEGP is a credit-linked subsidy programme aimed at generating self-employment opportunities through establishment of micro-enterprises in the non-farm sector by helping traditional artisans and unemployed youth. The scheme was launched during 2008-09. For fiscal 2019-20, Rs. 2,247.10 cr has been allocated under PMEGP, according to a government report.

Under the Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI), 34,791 artisans have benefitted with an assistance of Rs. 143.15 cr in 2018-19, the Minister said.

And under the Scheme for Promotion of Innovation, Rural Industry and Entrepreneurship (ASPIRE), 74 livelihood business incubation (LBI) centres and 11 technology business incubators have been approved since the inception of the scheme, he said. The MSME Ministry is also implementing various schemes and programmes through the Coir Board to assist entrepreneurs to set up new MSMEs in all coconut-producing states. Under the Coir Vikas Yojana, over 36 lakh employment opportunities have been created from 2014-15 to 2018-19.