DW BUREAU / MOHALI
Describing MSMEs as an important engine of Punjab’s industrial growth, Additional Chief Secretary Industry & Invest Punjab, Vini Mahajan on Thursday said the state government was committed to transforming the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises into industrial giants in the coming years.
Setting the context for the theme of the Progressive Punjab Investors Summit, Vini cited the various measures taken by the Captain Amarinder Singh led government to strengthen the MSME sector in the state.
Addressing the session on `Building partnerships for inclusive growth: MSMEs in the Global Value Chain’, she referred to the ease of doing business promoted by the new industrial policy, subsidised power tariff for industry @Rs 5/unit, incentives on electricity duty and GST, Online Land Ownership, Online Inspection system and easy access to finance.
To provide this ease to the MSMEs, the Government of Punjab has partnered with HDFC Bank to provide loans to around 700 MSME beneficiaries, amounting to Rs 1,100cr. Under their MoU, the Bank is offering special pricing for business loans to all industries in the state, she added.
Vini further pointed to the infrastructure upgradation undertaken at the focal points at an investment of around Rs 200 crores by the state government. She further cited recent cabinet decisions, including approval for Right to Business Act for MSMEs, amendments to the Industrial Disputes Act, Factories Act, etc, and the decision to allow Panchayats to partner the state’s industrial development through creation of industrial parks on Shamlat land.
On the occasion, Punjab Industries and Commerce Minister Sunder Sham Arora signed MoUs with key e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart to enable access to new markets for the Punjab-based MSMEs. Arora said that the Government had signed the MoU with Amazon to enable B2B linkages with key international markets, including US, Canada, and key markets in Europe, while, with Flipkart, the government had signed the MoU to facilitate access for MSMEs to new domestic markets, as well as Flipkart Samarth, to give impetus to the growth of handloom weavers and small enterprises in the State.
The MSME session was moderated by Akhil Bansal, Deputy CEO of KPMG, and participated by Jayant Davar from Sandhar Technologies, Sachid Madan from ITC, Bhawna Bhatia from World Bank, Sarvjit Singh Samra from Capital Small Finance Bank and Dr Ren Van Berkel from UNIDO.
During the session, the participants hailed the initiative of the Punjab Government and said that it was the right time to give impetus to MSMEs in Punjab, which has a strong presence in light engineering, knitwear, clothing, sports good, pharmacy, automobiles, hand tools, leather industry and
Panelists urged the Punjab government to develop more Research and Development Centres in the state to further improve the quality of the products and keep the technologically up to date. They said that the summit was the stepping stone towards recognition of MSMEs and the government should continue such initiates to encourage MSMEs.
Dr Guruprasad Mohapatra, Secretary in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), said that MSME sector is the backbone of the Punjab industry and accounts for nearly 60% of the total output and around 80% of the total employment in industry in the State.
At the start of the session, Pankaj Munjal, Managing Director Hero Cycles, shared his experiences and appreciated the support being given by the Punjab government to industry.