Scheme for Promoting Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Agro Industry launched by Shri Kalraj Mishra, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of MSME, Government of India

Last week, Shri Kalraj Mishra, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of MSME, Government of India, launched the Scheme for Promotion of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Agro-Industry. The scheme was first announced during the budget speech 2014-15 delivered by Shri Arun Jaitley, Hon’ble Finance Minister, Government of India. He had suggested establishing a Technology Centre Network to promote Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Agro Industry with a fund of Rs.200 crore. He had also suggested putting in place a programme to facilitate forward and backward linkages with multiple chains of manufacturing and service delivery and also to take up a nationwide District Level Incubation and Accelerator Programme for incubation of new ideas and providing necessary support for accelerating entrepreneurship. The launch of the Scheme is testimony to the government’s commitment to nurture the Indian MSMEs and provide a fillip to entrepreneurship.

“Designed to impart necessary skills for setting up business enterprises and also to facilitate the market linkages available to entrepreneurs and to provide hand holding for a critical period to ensure self-sustainability, the scheme will open vistas of incubation landscape to the micro segment of the vast rural economy” exclaimed Shri Kalraj Mishra during the launch.

The scheme envisages creation of a framework for start-up promotion through Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) by using innovative means of finance like equity, quasi-equity, angel fund, venture capital fund, impact funds and challenge funds. In order to ensure that credit is available for start-ups, the Ministry of MSME has created a fund of funds of Rs 60 crore for disbursement through SIDBI.

“Success of the scheme will lie in how we are able to tap the strengths and knowledge of various stakeholders. The idea is to provide a platform on which multiple stakeholders can work together and address the employment needs of rural areas,” said Shri Madhav Lal, Secretary, Ministry of MSME, Government of India.

The Minister also announced the setting up of 500 new incubation centres all over India by next year. Special efforts would be made to identify, support and expand the role of competitive Indian MSMEs in a global economy. It is proposed to provide mentoring support to MSMEs through NSIC/other agencies of the Ministry of MSME. Capacity Building including Awards, Surveys, Studies, Exposure Visits, Engagement of Consultants including Monitoring and Evaluation etc. would be conducted with an estimated expenditure of INR 17.75 Crore. The partner institutions would be provided Rs 3 lakh per innovative idea selected for nurturing. For successful commercialization and mentoring, a grant of Rs 1 lakh per year for three years subject to a maximum of Rs 3 lakh would be given. The scheme also entails Rs 62.50 crore funds for setting up of incubation centres by National Small Industries Corporation or Khadi and Village Industries Commission or Coir Board or any other institution/agency of the state or central government. Besides, Rs 61.50 crore has been earmarked for setting up of technology incubation centres. A sum of Rs 2 crore has been allocated for creation, updating and maintenance of database of technology centres network.

The disbursement of the Rs 200 crore fund allocated for this Scheme has been a recurring policy advocacy agenda for CII since the announcement of this Scheme last year. The launch of the Scheme last week is a welcome step in our opinion. We look forward to the speedy implementation of all the provisions under the Scheme.

We would like to get your views on the launch of the Scheme and its impact on the MSME sector. Please oblige us by sharing your valuable inputs and suggestions/recommendations so that we are in a position to take them up at relevant platforms in future.

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