The Centre is working with State Bank of India to launch an E-portal on the lines of Amazon to facilitate Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises to sell their products, Transport & MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari said here on Wednesday.
At present, Amazon.com generates a business of around Rs.70,000 crore annually for Indian MSMEs, which can be enhanced by a dedicated E-Portal to enable them complete with global brands, he said at a webinar organised by All India Association of Industries President Vijay Kalantri.
Stating that the government aims to increase the share of MSME sector in total exports from the current 48 percent to 60 percent in the coming years, Gadkari said that this would go a long way in boosting the Atmanirbhar Bharat programme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On similar lines, the union minister said that the government is making efforts to increase the turnover of the village industry from the current Rs.80,000 crore to Rs.5-lakh-crore in next couple of years which will create jobs in rural, agricultural and tribal segments and eradicate poverty, he added.
Gadkari said that in order to protect the interests of MSME vendors, the government has mandated public sector undertakings to settle their dues within 45 days of sale and also plan to introduce legislation to this effect.
Urging the MSMEs to spread their wings, he said they must form joint ventures with start-ups or technology transfers from institutions like IITs or IIMs to compete on a global scale.
Highlighting the initiatives and innovations by his ministry, Gadkari said that they encourage development of high-quality, cost-effective but sustainable local products as import substitutes.
“Local MSMEs have developed indigenous paint, Khadi Prakritik Paint made with cowdung which is 50 percent cheaper than top brands, but is still world-class. A small unit can produce this paint with a capital investment of barely Rs. 15 lakhs,” Gadkari said.
He said Indian farmers can save Rs.100,000 per annum by replacing fossil fuels with bio-fuels and bio-CNG in their tractors and farm equipment since the government promoting biofuels of ethanol from rice and other foods, biomass from cotton straws, etc.
With a huge scope of producing bagasse and bio-CNG as a fossil fuel substitute Indian can slash its annual crude oil import bills by a staggering Rs.Eight lakh-crore, Gadkari pointed out.
He also outlined schemes for cattle-owners to monetize their livestock wastes and generate additional revenue of upto Rs.4,500 per month by selling cowdung and cow urine at Rs.5/kg and Rs.10/litre respectively.
In his welcome remarks, AIAI President Kalantri highlighted the challenges confronting the MSMEs in recent years, especially access to finance, bank credits which has sharply decline from 12.30 percent to just 8.50 percent in the past 10 years, the cash crunch after the Covid-19 pandemic, etc.
Kalantri urged that the interest rates for MSME loans must be brought down and made at par with the housing loan costs, revival of the defunct State Finance Corporations and other measures to boost the MSME sector.