The Telegraph
Saturday , July 5 , 2014
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Finer plea to revamp industries

Guwahati, July 4: Federation of Industry and Commerce of North Eastern Region (Finer) — the apex industry association of the Northeast — has requested the Union minister of micro, small and medium enterprises Kalraj Mishra to take steps for the capacity enhancement of the enterprises in the region.

Finer chairman R.S. Joshi, who met the minister yesterday in New Delhi, said finance is still a major constraint in the region.

“Unlike other parts of the country, there are no dedicated branches of commercial banks for MSME funding in the region,” he said.

The key factors for states, which have been successful in attracting investment, are state of art infrastructure and congenial environment for industries.

“Unfortunately, in the Northeast, one cannot see such a situation. One of the major problems has been lack of developed land, industrial area/shed for new industries to come up. The second major constraint is power, which hampers the growth of these enterprises. Although power is a potential area for the Northeast, the region is still power deficient. If the enterprises have to develop in the region, there is a need for the power scenario to improve drastically. The people of the region are more job-oriented than industry-oriented. In fact, there is tremendous lack of awareness on various avenues of entrepreneurship in the region. Only a miniscule number of entrepreneurs has come forward to avail of these schemes,” he said.

He said for the Northeast, special focus needs to be given on enhancing the capacity of these enterprises to facilitate compliance required for maintaining standards and certification requirements.

He said there has to be an increase in the role of local industry associations, particularly in strategic initiatives like joint marketing, or for joint bids, particularly in government procurement, or promotion schemes for potential suppliers.

“There is a need to strengthen and ensure sincere implementation of schemes like credit guarantee scheme, credit linked capital scheme and other similar schemes to strengthen financial health of the sector,” he said.

Joshi said there is a need to promote partnership between the enterprises and organisations overseas that can develop or transfer technology, products, processes or managerial practices.

He said considering the type of micro enterprises/artisan clusters in the Northeast and limited sectors like handloom, handicraft, food processing where clusters can mostly be identified, there is a need to reorient the micro small enterprise cluster development scheme for this region.

“Learning from the experiences of cluster implementation in this region, a tailor-made scheme for cluster development is needed. This will go a long way in revamping the micro enterprises and enhancing competitiveness,” he said.

On the role of Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship, he said it needs to be broadened and joint initiatives for MSME promotion with industry associations facilitated.

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