Technology can help boost MSME contribution to GDP to 50% by 2025: Jitendra Singh

The government has set a target to enhance the contribution of medium, small and micro enterprises (MSME) to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) to 50 per cent by 2025, as India becomes a $5 trillion economy, and this can only be achieved through optimum use of science and technology, union minister of state Jitendra Singh has said.

Delivering the keynote address at the 7th India International MSME Trade and Investments Expo Summits 2021 in New Delhi on Thursday, union minister of state for science and technology; MoS in charge of earth sciences; MoS PMO, personnel, public grievances, pensions, atomic energy and space, Jitendra Singh said that new business enterprises are heavily dependent on scientific technology and for the industry as well as big and small enterprises to realise their optimum utilisation in contemporary India, not only the scientific applications but also scientific temper and scientific attitude will be essential.
The minister said small and micro enterprises supported by competitive and cutting edge technology will be the foundation for bigger industries in India and asked the scientific community to share the successful R&D outcomes with industries and corporate houses. He said, all future entrepreneurship will be driven by science and technology and called for adding new avenues and enterprises in tune with changing times.
Jitendra Singh noted that the MSME ministry has set a target to enhance its contribution to GDP to 50 per cent by 2025 as India becomes a $5 trillion economy. He said, with around 36.1 million units, MSMEs contribute around 6.11 per cent of the manufacturing GDP and 24.63 per cent of the GDP from service activities. Moreover, it is the second largest employment generating sector after agriculture as it provides employment to around 120 million persons in India.
Singh said MSMEs account for over 90 per cent of total enterprises in most of the economies and are credited with generating the highest rates of employment growth. With low investment requirements, operational flexibility and the capacity to develop appropriate indigenous technology, small and medium enterprises have the power to propel India to new heights, he said.
Referring to the huge unexplored business opportunities in the bamboo sector, Jitendra Singh said a path-breaking decision was taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to exempt home grown bamboo from the purview of the 100-year-old Indian Forest Act, which helped in bringing ease of doing business in the bamboo sector for the young entrepreneurs. He also pointed out that by increasing the import duty on bamboo sticks/ agarbatti from 10 per cent to 25 per cent, domestic agarbatti manufacturing got a huge boost as nearly 50 to 60 billion agarbattis were imported every year from countries like Korea, Vietnam and China. But, there has been no import of raw batti since September 2019 and local bamboo produce is being used for this, he added.
Singh reiterated that many start-up avenues of self-employment are more lucrative than government jobs and the need is only to change the mind-set, which is inclined to prefer a small-time government job with a meagre salary instead of a self-employed start-up initiative, which could comparatively beget manifold returns from the beginning itself.
Many agri start-ups through suitable use of science and technology are not only providing lucrative livelihood for themselves but also for their peers, the minister said. Referring to the clarion call given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for doubling the farmer’s income by 2022, Singh said, the focus of agricultural and allied sectors and researchers should be on productivity rather than production.