Centre working on Agro MSME policy: Nitin Gadkari

NEW DELHI: The government is working on an agro MSME policy which will focus on entrepreneurship development in rural, tribal, agricultural and forest areas for manufacturing products using local raw material, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday.

The Minister for MSME and Road Transport and Highways was speaking during meetings held via video conferencing with the representatives of SME Chamber of India, SME Export Promotion Council and representatives of beauty and wellness industry on impact of COVID-19 on MSMEs, according to an MSME Ministry release.

Gadkari called upon the industry to ensure that necessary preventive measures are taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

He emphasized upon usage of PPE, masks and sanitiser and advised the industry to maintain social distancing norms during business operations.

The minister highlighted the need to focus on export enhancement as well as import substitution to replace foreign imports with domestic production.

He observed that the industry should focus more on innovation, entrepreneurship, science and technology, research skill and experiences to convert knowledge into wealth.

The minister recalled that the Government of Japan has offered a special package to its industries for taking out Japanese investments from China and moving elsewhere.

He opined that it is an opportunity for India which should be grabbed.

He further emphasized that work on new alignment of Delhi-Mumbai Green Express Highway has already started, and this is an opportunity for industry to make future investments in industrial clusters, logistics parks equipped with state-of-art technology.

Gadkari opined that there is a need to expand the horizon of industrial clusters in areas other than metro cities and urged industries for participation.

He suggested to the wellness and beauty industry to encourage use of Indian Ayurvedic products instead of imported products.

Gadkari informed that the Ministry of MSME has signed an MoU with AYUSH Ministry to promote the AYUSH sector through various schemes of Ministry of MSMEs in the areas of training, skilling, hand holding and entrepreneurship development.

He also advised that members of wellness and beauty industry should register as micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) so that they could benefit from various schemes of the Ministry of MSME.

During interactions, the representatives expressed concerns regarding various challenges being faced by various MSMEs amid COVID-19 pandemic along with few suggestions and requested support from the government to keep the sector afloat.

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