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Manmohan Singh's call to focus on its role at SME Cluster Conclave

May '07
Close on the heels of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's call to focus on the role of small & medium enterprises (SMEs) in India's industrial development, national and international experts at an SME Cluster Conclave have emphasised the critical importance of SMEs in India's economic growth.

At the SME Cluster Conclave organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with the Ministry of Small Scale Industries, it was indicated by the Secretary, Ministry of Small Scale Industries & Rural and Agro Industries, Dr. Chandrapal, that government was proposing to increase financial assistance to existing clusters of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) upto as much as 80% of their financial requirements under the 11th Plan.

Shri Jawahar Sircar, Additional Secretary & Development Commissioner, Ministry of SSI & ARI said that the Cluster Concept was India's answer to global competition.

“To enable MSMEs to become competitive, the government is proposing to build a pool of consultants under its National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme. These consultants would be deployed with a cluster of 8-10 companies for a period of one to one and a half years. The cost of these consultants will be borne by the government”, he said.

Participating in the Conclave, Mr. Philippe Scholtes, UNIDO Regional Representative in India, said that the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has proposed a 5-year country Strategy for India, of which cluster development would be an integral part along with programmes aimed at upgrading technological capability and building up of social capital in the country's industrial sector.

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