SMEs form the backbone of the Indian manufacturing sector and have become engine of economic growth in India. It is estimated that SMEs account for almost 90% of industrial units in India and 40% of value addition in the manufacturing sector. This paper closely analyses the growth and development of the Indian mall scale sector from opening of the economy in 1991. Third part looks into the present scenario of SMEs and the problems they phases like lending, marketing, licensing issues in detail. The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Act, 2006 is intended to boost the sector. The
provisions of the Act are examined closely. The final part provides some future policy framework for the sustainability of the sector.
Worldwide, the micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have been accepted as the engine of economic growth and for promoting
equitable development. The major advantage of the sector is its employment potential at low capital cost. The labour intensity of the MSME sector is much higher than that of the large enterprises. The MSMEs constitute over 90% of total enterprises in most of the economies and are credited with generating the highest rates of employment growth and account for a major share of industrial production and exports.
In India too, the MSMEs play a pivotal role in the overall
industrial economy of the country. In recent years the MSME sector has consistently registered higher growth rate compared to the overall industrial sector. With its agility and dynamism, the sector has shown admirable innovativeness and adaptability to survive the recent economic downturn and recession.
As per available statistics (4th Census of MSME Sector), this sector employs an estimated 59.7 million persons spread over 26.1 million enterprises. It is estimated that in terms of value, MSME sector accounts for about 45% of the manufacturing output and around 40% of the total export of the country.
The President under Notification dated 9th May 2007 has amended the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961. Pursuant to this amendment, Ministry of Agro and Rural Industries (Krishi Evam Gramin Udyog Mantralaya) and Ministry of Small Scale
Industries (Laghu Udyog Mantralaya) have been merged into a single Ministry, namely, “MINISTRY OF MICRO, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES (SUKSHMA LAGHU AUR MADHYAM UDYAM MANTRALAYA)”
SMEs IN INDIA
With the advent of planned economy from 1951 and the subsequent industrial policy followed by Government of India, both planners and Government earmarked a special role for small-scale industries and medium scale industries in the Indian economy. Due protection was accorded to both sectors, and particularly for small- scale industries from 1951 to 1991, till the nation adopted a policy of liberalization and globalization. Certain products were reserved for small-scale units for a long time, though this list of products is decreasing due to change in industrial policies and climate.
SMEs always represented the model of socio-economic policies of Government of
India which emphasized judicious use of foreign exchange for import of capital goods and inputs; labour intensive mode of production; employment generation; non- concentration of diffusion of economic power in the hands of few (as in the case of big houses);
discouraging monopolistic practices of production and marketing; and finally effective contribution to foreign exchange earning of the nation with low import-intensive operations. It was also coupled with the policy of de-concentration of industrial
activities in few geographical centers.
It can be observed that by and large, SMEs in India met the
expectations of the Government in this respect. SMEs developed in a manner, which made it possible for them to achieve the following objectives:
• High contribution to domestic production
• Significant export earnings
• Low investment requirements