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Last updated: 24 Aug, 2012  

msme-THMB-2010.jpg 'Robust growth can be propelled by beefing up MSMEs'

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SME Times News Bureau | 24 Aug, 2012
The Micro Small and Medium enterprises (MSME) are the backbone of industry and giving a fillip to these units would be critical for ensuring overall development in the North East region, according to the feedback from FICCI KAF primary research.

Tarun Gogoi, Chief Minister of Assam, formally released the FICCI-KAF study on MSME development in North-East India in Guwahati on Thursday.

"It has become imperative to improve the efficiency of the existing units to sustain them in future. While the resources are available aplenty and the manufacturing base also exists to some extent in the region, the productivity levels remain low and uncompetitive. Lack of adequate infrastructure and connectivity issues, have not only made it difficult to develop a network with the rest of the country but also one within the region. It is important that the states start capitalizing on their individual strengths in a better way," opined R V Kanoria, President FICCI.

"Interestingly, GDP growth in the North East Region for the 8-year period ended 2011-12 was impressive and in excess of 8 percent for most of the states, at par with India's growth rate," added Kanoria.

"The demographic statistics too suggest that with a high decadal population growth for most of the north eastern states and a better sex ratio than the national average, the region definitely has better prospects in terms of ma-power and gender equality," noted Kanoria.

However, in order to ensure that the current good growth in the region is sustained and we are able to move ahead on a higher trajectory, it is crucial that the issues identified by the stakeholders are taken up on a priority basis.

Kanoria  added that steps such as ensuring a better focus on marketing of agricultural produce of the states, laying special emphasis on horticultural crops, setting up of raw material repository and better cold storage and packaging facilities will give a boost to growth in the region.

"There is also a need for better facilitation of credit to the micro sector and funding needs have to be concurrent with implementation of the project," said Sanjay Bhatia, FICCI MSME Committee Chairman.

Setting up of proper infrastructure would be instrumental for industrialization. Performance of industry has so far only been moderate. "Requirement of hand-holding and skill development for new entrepreneurs, designing of schemes to incentivize and increase the number of ITIs in the North-East region are some other steps that can be undertaken on a priority basis," added Kanoria.

"With regard to infrastructure, the quality of power supply is a major challenge for the small and medium enterprises. However, the upcoming hydro-electric power projects in some of the north-eastern states can be expected to bring some cheer," added Bhatia. There is also a need to address issues related to land acquisition, he added. 
 
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