Kolkata, Dec 17 (Agency) “MSMEs are critical to the economy and it has a tremendous potential in the agri and food produce space”, Dr A R Khan, Chief General Manager, NABARD, West Bengal Regional Office said while addressing the CII Vendor Development Programme today on the virtual platform. Outlining the various initiatives of Government of India and NABARD for promoting the MSMEs, Dr Khan said NABARD’s cluster development, skill development and credit support programmes for local entrepreneurship development have been critical to the growth of the Indian economy.
Dr Khan spoke about the Tribal Development Programme of NABARD which has been successful in connecting 5 lakh tribal families to this institution for sustainable livelihood. He called for all entrepreneurs to be in touch with NABARD District Development Managers for handholding, mentoring, skilling, finance support and infrastructure. The CGM of NABARD West Bengal Regional office asked corporates to come forward and provide handholding support to entrepreneurs as special efforts are needed for market connects, standardization of products, design innovations among others. While NABARD has been instrumental in supporting 5000 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) by setting up credit guarantee fund for them, the institution is also the critical anchor of the Agri Infrastructure Fund set up by the Government of India. Dr Khan also spoke at length about the 5 Incubation Centres of NABARD with various institutions across the country which mentors agri start-ups. He highlighted in the course of his deliberations that 1 crore Self Help Groups (SHGs) have been formed under NABARD’s Micro Entrepreneurship Development Programme who are given market linkage support. Addressing the initiative, A P Tripathi, Executive Director -Chief Material Management Services, ONGC Ltd said that ONGC has a yearly procurement amount of almost INR 30,000 crores and many of its services are imported as Indian vendors cannot supply them. As there is a huge scope to do business with ONGC, Tripathi called for SC/ST entrepreneurs to do business with his organization and assured all support and guidelines for the vendors.
Milind Kamble, Founder Chairman, Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI) lauded CII’s efforts in actualizing Affirmative Action since 2007 and made a call to the Confederation’s members to adopt a SC/ST entrepreneur so that the mentoring in these crucial times has “tangible outcomes.” Sudhakar Dharavath, Founder Chairman, Tribal Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TICCI) also called for Public Sector Units (PSUs) to ease their rules of vendor procurement so that tribal entrepreneurs can start doing business with them. This Vendor Development Programme was initiated to enhance the market linkages of MSMEs and SC/ST entrepreneurs through strong supplier networks. The major objectives were to create awareness about various products and services that SC/ST entrepreneurs can offer to the CII Members; create business opportunities for MSMEs / SC/ST entrepreneurs with large companies and to create a sustainable ecosystem where both SME’s & MSME’s and Large Units can reap benefit from each other and to support Large Units in identifying credible and capable local suppliers. The meet today was e-attended by Procurement Officers of PSUs and large private enterprises, MSMEs and first generation SC/ST entrepreneurs. A Vendor Directory was also launched on the occasion.