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Assocham, ICAI set up virtual centre for MSMEs' development
January, 31st 2015

Industry body Assocham and the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI) have jointly set up the country's first 'Virtual Centre for Development of MSMEs'.

"The Centre will cater as a facilitator to MSMEs by addressing their issues, connecting them to global research and development (R&D) centres, strengthening industry-academia partnership, skill up-gradation and conducting product/industry specific seminars and workshops," as per a vision document released at a press conference here today.

It was released by A.S.Durga Prasad, president, ICAI, Ravindra Sannareddy, chairman, Assocham, Southern Regional Council, and D.S. Rawat, national secretary general, Assocham.

The Centre aims to reach out to about 30 million MSMEs, educate at least 50,000 MSME units about exports, assist about 20 million budding entrepreneurs, train at least 10 million non-skilled/semi-skilled people across India and assist at least 500 MSMEs to produce innovative products, it said.

The Centre would be a single window for all MSME related issues such as finance, technology, skill development, policy and compliance as it would get first hand information on their impediments and evolve amicable solutions by developing a dedicated website, establishing round-the-clock helpline number, issuing a monthly news letter, publishing a sector-specific research journal.

There are about 46 million MSME units across the country employing about 106 million people and they play a pivotal role in growth of India's economy evidently as they contribute about 45 per cent of industrial output, about 40 per cent of exports, create over one million jobs annually and produce over 8,000 varied quality products.

However, absence of adequate and timely banking finance, poor infrastructure facilities, limited capital and knowledge, use of primitive technology, low production capacities, ineffective marketing strategies, dearth of skilled labour, taxes and regulations are certain major hurdles being faced by the MSME sector and their removal is imperative for developing a smooth business environment in India.

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