MSMEs plays an important role in the nation’s economy. The development MSMEs is critical to meet the national imperatives of financial inclusion and generation of significant levels of employment across urban and rural areas across the country. Further, the sector can nurture and support development of new age entrepreneurs who have the potential to create competitive businesses at global level.
The Government of India envisions entrepreneurship as an integral part of accomplishing rapid and robust economic growth. To ensure, that benefits of growth spread across all sections of the society, especially the marginalized groups including SC/ST entrepreneurs, Government is trying to make procurement activities of the public sector more inclusive and participative.
In this regard, the “Public Procurement Policy for MSEs” of 2012 mandates that Central Government ministries, Departments and Public-Sector Undertakings procure minimum of 20 percent of their annual value of goods or services from MSEs. In addition, 20% of such procurement from MSEs, i.e. 4% of total procurement of goods and services shall be made from Micro and Small Enterprises owned by SC & ST entrepreneurs.
In the past, there has been some increase in the number of SC/ST owned enterprises and this needs to increase substantially to enable the socio-economic empowerment of the SC/ST communities. Therefore, in an endeavor to mainstream SC/ST groups into the entrepreneurial ecosystem, a number of schemes have been launched by the Ministry of MSME. Additionally, the Hon’ble Prime Minister also launched Start-Up India initiative, facilitating bank loans aimed at promoting entrepreneurship at the grass root level enabling economic empowerment and subsequent job creation.
To expedite achievement of the policy target, the Government has initiated the establishment of the National SC/ST Hub with an aim not only to increase market access and ensure higher participation of SC/ST entrepreneurs in public procurement but also to promote creation of new enterprises. Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, has made an initial allocation of Rs. 490 Crore for the period 2016-2020 for the National SC/ST Hub.
The National Schedule Caste Schedule Tribe Hub
The National SC/ST Hub has been set up to provide professional support to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Entrepreneurs to fulfil the obligations under the Central Government Public Procurement Policy for Micro and Small Enterprises Order 2012, adopt applicable business practices and leverage the Stand-Up India initiative.
The Hub would be implemented by the Ministry of MSME through National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC), a public-sector undertaking under the administrative control of this Ministry of MSME.