The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector has emerged as a highly vibrant and dynamic sector of the Indian economy over the last five decades. It contributes significantly in the economic and social development of the country by fostering entrepreneurship and generating largest employment opportunities at comparatively lower capital cost, next only to agriculture.
MSMEs are complementary to large industries as ancillary units and this sector contributes significantly in the inclusive industrial development of the country. The MSMEs are widening their domain across sectors of the economy, producing a diverse range of products and services to meet demands of domestic as well as global markets.
The mandate of the Ministry of MSME
On 9 May 2007, the erstwhile Ministry of Small Scale Industries and the Ministry of Agro and Rural Industries were merged to form the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (M/o MSME). The Ministry designs policies promotes/ facilitates programmes/ projects/ schemes and monitors their implementation, with a view to assisting MSMEs and helping them to scale up.
The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act was notified in 2006 to address different issues affecting MSMEs inter-alia the coverage and investment ceiling of the sector. The MSMED Act seeks to facilitate the development of these enterprises as also enhance their competitiveness.
The MSMED Act has the following key provisions:
Definition of MSME
In accordance with the provision of the MSMED Act, 2006, MSMEs are classified as below:
The primary responsibility of promotion and development of MSMEs is of the State governments. However, the Government of India, supplements efforts of the State governments through various initiatives. The role of the Ministry of MSME and its organisations is to assist the States in their efforts to encourage entrepreneurship, employment, and livelihood opportunities and enhance the competitiveness of MSMEs in the changed economic scenario.