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MSMEs now getting recognition: FM at launch of fund for export-oriented units

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was speaking at the launch of the ‘Ubharte Sitaare’ alternative investment fund, aimed at providing debt and equity funding to export-oriented MSMEs as well as providing them with the required technological support to make their businesses more competitive.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
August 22, 2021 1:02:51 am
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are now getting the recognition that they have not received for decades.

She was speaking at the launch of the ‘Ubharte Sitaare’ alternative investment fund, aimed at providing debt and equity funding to export-oriented MSMEs as well as providing them with the required technological support to make their businesses more competitive.

“MSMEs are now getting the recognition that MSMEs did not get for years and decades,” she said at the launch of the SIDBI and India EXIM bank-sponsored fund in Lucknow.

The fund, which has a corpus of Rs 250 crore, is aimed at identifying export-oriented units with technological, product or process advantages in their sectors and supporting them with funding and advisory services to accelerate their growth.

Sitharaman said that the launch of the fund had been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic but that firms receiving support from it would now also benefit from the ‘One District One Product’ scheme in Uttar Pradesh, which has the largest number of MSMEs in any state in the country.

She added that the government had launched “with a great sense of urgency” the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) and extended it post the second wave of Covid-19 infections as many MSMEs had benefitted from it.

The Finance Minister’s office tweeted that MSMEs had availed credit of Rs13,555 crore under the ECLGS. The government had, in June, extended the Rs 3-lakh crore scheme till September 30 or till guarantees for credit of Rs 3 lakh crore had been issued.

Sitharaman also highlighted the passage of the Factoring Regulation (Amendment) Bill which drastically increases the number of firms that can provide MSMEs with funds against trade receivables. “Till now there were only seven factors. However, now 9,000 companies have been given the right to provide funds to MSMEs against their bills,” she added.

She highlighted that MSMEs were benefitting from regulations which required that central ministries, departments and public sector undertakings complete at least 20 per cent of their procurement from MSMEs.

Sitharaman said the Centre would continue to give importance to MSMEs and that it had shown that it trusts MSMEs by permitting them to self certify their accounts instead of requiring that they be certified by auditors. Earlier this month, the Central Board of Indirect taxes and Customs (CBIC) notified that MSMEs with a turnover of up to Rs 5 crore would be permitted to self certify their annual GST returns instead of needing certification by a chartered accountant.

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