Panel to thrash out problems of SSIs: PM

By SiliconIndia   |   Monday, 30 August 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: In a move aimed at supporting small enterprises, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday announced a national commission to study the problems of small-scale industries (SSI) in the unorganised sector.

The government is contemplating aid and support to the small-scale industries sector, he told an SSI convention here after giving away awards to 37 young entrepreneurs, besides state-run banks for their support to SSIs.

The prime minister said the national commission would be fully empowered to examine and review existing institutional mechanism for supporting small enterprises.

He said it was his government's endeavour to create a positive environment in which "animal spirits" of private enterprise would be unleashed to facilitate a new era of entrepreneurial development.

"Efforts of all government agencies must be towards enhancing the capabilities of SSI enterprises to face competition," he said.

There were several other measures the government was presently contemplating to aid and support the SSI sector, some of which were: access to affordable credit, marketing support and access to modern technology.

Manmohan Singh also announced his intention to reduce the number of inspectors SSIs have to receive in a year, a move he said would free the enterprises from the "tyranny" of the so-called "Inspector Raj".

"The ministry of SSI would finalise and introduce in parliament a single law for the entire sector," he said.

Though there were several agencies to assist SSIs, Manmohan Singh felt the government's efforts did not always reach the sector due to the multiplicity of efforts and agencies.

Similarly, there were problems regarding the availability of credit despite initiatives like the Credit Guarantee Trust to help small enterprises.

Calling for innovative thinking on what small industry policy should be, he said: "We should be prepared to discard policies of the past that have not worked and seek new ways of realising the goals of employment generation and entrepreneurial development."

Describing the small-scale sector as an important part of the country's economy and society, he said it must be given all possible facilities to flourish and to grow, including new technologies and policies.

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