Mr. Pratap Chandra Sarangi- MOS: Cluster Development is the Way forward to Achieve Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission

Speaking at an interactive session, Mr. Pratap Chandra Sarangi, Union Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, said that the cluster development approach is the best format to achieve overall economic development and the perfect way forward to achieve the Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission perused by Modi Government.

Addressing industry captains and leaders of trade and business bodies at an interactive session organised by Laghu Udyog Bharati, Karnataka Chapter (LUB-K) in Bangalore, Mr. Pratap Chandra Sarangi cited the example of Khadi industry: “Khadi industry gained prominence during our independence struggle under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhiji transformed a simple product into a symbol of national pride. A simple fabric became a great weapon for our national movement. Now, our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi wants to advance this idea and globalize Khadi. Similar adoptions can be made by adopting cluster approaches for various products manufactured by rural entrepreneurs. If the urban population buys rural manufactured products, it will provide huge employment opportunities to rural populace and this way, we can serve the nation in a better way.”

He further said: “The MSME industry needs expansion, its scope is enormous. We need to think of ways to provide entrepreneurs their due, to improve market availability and access and to provide technology to them.”

He also said that the government understands the importance and contribution of MSMEs for the nation and is fully committed to support the MSME sector grow and reach its full potential. Now the time has come to be a self-reliant country and for this MSME can play a very important role in this mission of nation-building.

“With the government increasing opportunities for local MSMEs and reducing dependence on imports, MSMEs will be able to scale up operations and gain higher market share across the various sector,” said the Minister of State for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

The MSME sector contributes 29.7 per cent to India’s GDP and accounts for 49.66 per cent of Indian Exports and close to 45 per cent of the manufacturing output of the country. It was one of those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, as supply chains disrupted across the world and trade came to an almost standstill. Under the leadership of PM Modi, several measures were announced as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package aimed to help MSMEs survive the impact of the unfolding pandemic, by infusing liquidity and laying the foundation of a more robust MSME sector for the long-term. Efforts should now be made that all the benefits announced for them reach them.

Mr. Jagadish Shettar, Minister for Medium and Heavy Industries, GoK, delivering the presidential address at the functions, said: “Karnataka Government has introduced several forward looking policies in the recent past to support MSME growth”. Touching on the new Industrial policy he said: “It is a forward looking policy which is aiming towards the development of MSME sector; attract investments, job creation as well as promotion of micro and small units which should propel the State’s GDP growth.”

He further said: “Several initiatives have been specifically announced for the MSME sector which will facilitate greater investments in advanced manufacturing, research and development (R&D), and innovation and aims to create at least 2 million jobs.”

The Minister said: “The State has been leading the country in several sectors with traditional strengths in a wide range of industries – machine tools, heavy machinery, automobiles, electronics, aerospace & defense, biotechnology. The State government will support industries in cluster mode to ensure the rapid growth of industries. Karnataka was the first State to create sector-specific clusters to attract capital.”

Speaking on occasion Mr. P.S. Srikanta Dutta, President, Laghu Udyog Bharati, Karnataka Chapter (LUB-K), stressed on the need for more technology adoption by the MSMEs for better efficiency and competitiveness. “MSMEs face several challenges, including technological obsolescence, supply chain inefficiencies, increasing global competition, uncertain market scenario, and lack of funding. Given these challenges, it is critical to focus on creating tech-efficient MSMEs that they make optimal use of the technology-enabled platforms.”

Several other speakers including Shri Kalakappa Gurushantappa Bandi, Member of Legislative Assembly, and Chairman, KSSIDC Ltd., Dr. Ram Prasath Manohar, MD, KSSIDC, Shri B. Sreenivasa Rao, General Manager, Union Bank of India, Shri. V. M. Giridhar, Chief General Manager, Canara Bank, Shri G. R. Akadas, Director, MSME-Development Institute, Shri Ravi Kumar, Chief General Manager – NSIC, and Shri. Chandramouli Vemuru, Deputy General Manager, SIDBI, spoke on the occasion. Over 130 Government officers, industry captains and domain experts participated in the three hour programme.