Interview with Kalraj Mishra

Kalraj Mishra
Kalraj Mishra
Union Minister for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises
Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

MSME and textile industries are closely related...

KM: The textiles industry must be like developed-MSME. Many textile units employ small numbers of manpower. The textiles sector and MSME go hand-in-hand. The textiles sector is huge and MSMEs are instrumental in developing this sector. Hence, without MSME we cannot think about textiles.

The Skill India initiative seeks to train 15 lakh youth by 2017. How much are we on target because 2017 is soon approaching?

KM: We do not want to get into the numbers game. As units start developing, we seek to provide hands-on training and different modules based on industry demands. We will design the curriculum based on that. We plan to empower entrepreneurship and skilled manpower through training. We have also launched a web portal supporting the Digital India initiative at MSME For Digital Employment Exchange, for industries only. Employers and employees can register themselves on the portal. This will help employers find out where is skilled manpower available for a particular industry and help an employee look for jobs based on the skill. Both parties then can mutually negotiate. Earlier, there were about 3-4 lakh registrations. I am not completely aware of the number right now. Many industries have also registered. A lot of verification and monitoring is required to get the actual statistics.

Our aim is to set targets to train through small technology centres. From one technology centre, we will train from 5000-10,000 individuals every year. The individuals will comprise entrepreneurs and job seekers. Based on the data from all our existing technology centres, around 3 lakh people get trained each year. According to statistics, 13 crore people so far have been trained.

We have launched an MSME data bank. There's a page on the web portal where you need to answer questions in a yes-or-no format. There are questions related to schemes. Once the data is fed and registered, it will be made online. This way there will be information on micro, small and medium scale industries.

When the Amended TUFS was announced, many MSMEs were unhappy with the announcement. They felt that this would benefit only the big players. Has this issue been taken up with you?

KM: Technological upgradation is required everywhere. Technological upgradation is applicable to large, small and micro industries. Technological upgradation is important along with technological quality upgradation.

You mentioned that there is a very good coordination between the textiles and MSME ministries. What is the role that both the ministries will play together in the years to come? How would you like to take things to the next level?

KM: The textiles industry and MSME are closely connected. The textiles industry can be developed only through MSMEs. This is all because of the coordination. Without any coordination, how can an MoU be signed and how can we open a technology centre in Kanpur. Within textiles, there are looms that weave fabrics. We have Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), Khadi & Village Industries Board (KVIB) and khadi. We have now also begun the use of solar energy. Things are developing. We also seek to support artisans. Artisans now use solar energy for the charkhas to earn more and for increasing productivity. We introduced solar energy very recently.

Any thoughts on the National Textile Policy to be introduced soon?

KM: The details of this will be made available soon.

Most export companies may be big, but the backbone is provided by countless MSMEs. For exports to pick up, these MSMEs need support and hand-holding. How are you planning to meet this particular challenge? It is not just a question of financial support, but helping them improve on quality and efficiency.

KM: To upgrade quality, we have different kinds of schemes. MSMEs contribute over 45 per cent to manufacturing and 42-44 per cent to exports. Contribution of MSMEs to the GDP, both service and manufacturing sectors combined is 37.5 per cent, out of which 30 per cent comes from the service sector and 7.5 per cent from manufacturing. More than 6,000 products are manufactured by MSMEs in India. About 10 crore people get employed by MSMEs. MSMEs are also trying to provide facilities like incentives to their employees.

Please share some details about the KVIC.

KM: Clothes made at KVIC and other khadi clothing for a very long time had been operating on a noprofit- no-loss business model. It was something which was worn by political leaders or the elderly. But now times have changed. Khadi is now a choice of fabric for a lot of designers. They are getting better with time. Young boys and girls are now attracted towards new trends in khadi. We have made t-shirts, suits and khadi denim to promote this handloom fabric. Reputed fashion designer Ritu Beri has also contributed. We are trying to attract the youth towards khadi and expand markets globally too. The products being developed through village industries and gram udyog have a good demand in the domestic market. The production for such items is growing along with the increasing demand, and the market is also expanding.
Published on: 03/10/2016

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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