New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday asked industry chambers and associations to come up with innovative solutions to address problems of the MSME sector and provide inputs for policy formulation.
Singh also emphasised the need to promote exports from micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
The MSME sector is of vital importance to the national economy, he said, adding the government's initiatives can be successful only with the participation of the private sector and civil society.
"I would urge industry associations and chambers of commerce in India to come forward with innovative solutions to address constraints that still hinder the development of the MSME sector and provide constructive inputs for policy formulation and implementation," he said at an award ceremony here for MSMEs.
"Only a fraction of enterprises today has the skills, risk appetite and resources to avail of the opportunities offered by globalisation. We need to change this state of affairs," Singh said.
The MSME sector accounts for 8 per cent of the country's GDP, 45 per cent of its manufactured output and 43 per cent of its exports, he said. It employs over 8 crore people.
He said the government believes that strong performance in the sector is necessary for India to achieve rapid and inclusive growth.
"It is a matter of satisfaction for us that the MSME sector has grown at a healthy rate of 10 per cent in recent years," he added.
The Prime Minister presented 37 awards to enterprises and banks in recognition of excellence in their fields.
The Prime Minister said the government has taken several steps to remove constraints that impede faster development of the MSME sector.
"The MSME Development Act, passed in 2006, was one of the important initiatives in this direction. Subsequently, we began implementing the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme, which is a blueprint for increasing competitiveness in the sector," he said.
The government also implemented the major recommendations of a task force set up in 2010 to suggest steps to strengthen the sector.
Singh said the public procurement policy, announced in 2012, would help in improving the market access and competitiveness of micro and small enterprises by increasing their participation in government purchases and encouraging them to establish linkages with large enterprises.
The Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme launched in 2008-09 has helped to set up over 2 lakh micro units and provide job opportunities to over 21 lakh people.
Speaking on the occasion, MSME Minister K H Muniyapppa said the government has increased the allocation for the sector in the 12th Plan to Rs 24,124 crore from Rs 11,500 crore during the previous plan period.
The minister urged Singh to "favourably consider" a proposal to waive Rs 286.5 crore of loans to the khadi and village industries, a move that would make about 2,000 institutions in the sector debt-free and benefit 10 lakh weavers and spinners.