The Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth today reviewed the export scenario of MSMEs and announced formation of small groups to look into suggestions for the sector given by industry players.

“MSME sector is the backbone of manufacturing in the country. On immediate basis I will form 2-3 small groups so that suggestions offered here can be looked into.”

“This will help us in ascertaining that what can be done quickly and I will take another reviews with the Secretaries in three weeks time so that we can do something quickly for this sector,” a Commerce Ministry statement quoting Seth said.

Besides industry leaders, the meeting was attended secretaries from Finance, Commerce, DIPP, MSME, Steel and Food Processing.

Representatives from FIEO, CII, carpet industry, electronics, plastic and handicraft gave their suggestions for improving exports from the sector.

It said the industry put forward issues pertaining to the exports and matters like cost of credit, technology upgradation, skill training and export incentives.

“The Cabinet Secretary assured that the government should be able to give serious thought to many of the suggestions offered,” it said.

It added the Cabinet Secretary has emphasised on the need for constant technology upgradation and innovation to stay competitive in the global market.

While appreciating the contribution of the MSME sector towards high-tech areas such as space and defence, Seth underscored the importance of concerted efforts to increase the share of MSMEs in these technological areas and the necessity for creation of intellectual property rights.

“There is an imperative need to constantly upgrade the skills through continuing skill upgradation programmes,” it added.

Commerce Secretary S R Rao made the introductory remarks and Director General of Foreign Trade made the presentation on export situation.

The MSME sector employs over 60 million people in about 2.61 crore units. It contributes about 40 per cent to the country’s total exports and about 45 per cent to the manufacturing activities.

(This article was published on March 15, 2013)
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