Economy

Innovation corpus for small, medium enterprises may be raised to Rs 2,500 cr

PTI New Delhi | Updated on February 23, 2012 Published on February 23, 2012

The MSME Ministry is considering enhancing the corpus towards innovation multi-fold to Rs 2,500 crore to bring forth more innovative products in the sector, thereby increasing competitiveness in the international market.

At present, the Ministry provides Rs 100 crore annually to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) towards innovation, which mainly includes setting up of testing centres and R&D facilities.

“...we will increase the corpus (for innovation)...about Rs 2,500 crore we are thinking of,” Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Secretary, Mr R. K. Mathur, said on the sidelines of the FICCI MSME Summit 2012 here.

He said innovation in SME clusters is fundamental to growth and employment generation. MSMEs are the backbone of the Indian economy and contribute 45 per cent of the country’s total industrial production.

In the 12th Plan period, the Ministry has set a 15 per cent growth rate from the existing 12-13 per cent.

There are over 6,500 small clusters in the country, but 99 per cent of them are low-end, belonging to sectors such as coir, handicrafts and handloom.

There is an urgent need to convert low-end industrial estates to high-end and then to world-class, he said.

Speaking at the function, the Minister of State for Planning, Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Mr Ashwani Kumar, said the country has to focus on innovation to achieve a competitive edge in the world market.

“The centre of economic activity has shifted from the West to Asia. By the ability of MSMEs to absorb innovation, India could continue to stay at the same (prime) level,” Mr Kumar said.

The Government has set up the National Innovation Council to discuss, analyse and help implement strategies for inclusive innovation in India and to prepare a roadmap for 2010-2020.

Published on February 23, 2012
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