MSMEs backbone of economy, 13.5 lakh businesses availed ECLGS: President Kovind

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NEW DELHI: Calling medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) the backbone of the Indian economy, President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday outlined the steps taken by the Centre to support such businesses amid the pandemic.

The president was addressing a joint session of the Parliament marking the start of the Budget Session.

Speaking of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) launched during the first wave of covid-19 in 2020, the president said that around 13.5 lakh MSMEs have availed collateral free loans under the scheme.

“Along with large companies, our small and medium enterprises have a critical role in India’s prosperity. Our MSMEs have been the backbone of our economy, and a driver of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’. In order to protect MSMEs from crisis and ensure adequate availability of credit during the Corona period, the government started a scheme for guaranteed collateral free loans of ₹3 lakh crore. It is evident from the recent studies that this scheme has given a fresh lease of life to 13,50,000 MSME units and also secured 1 crore 50 lakh jobs.”

Last June, the finance ministry had enhanced the overall credit guarantee from ₹3 lakh crore to ₹4.5 lakh crore.

Kovind added that several policy decisions have also been taken to expand the scope and opportunities for the MSME sector and noted that the new and broader definition is helping smaller businesses expand.

The government has also allowed wholesale and retail traders, as well as street vendors, to register themselves on the ‘Udyam’ portal to help them avail benefits of priority sector lending, he added.

Kovind also mentioned the sales growth of Khadi products and observed that it is becoming the mainstay of small entrepreneurs. “With government’s efforts, sale of Khadi products has trebled in the country since 2014,” the president said. (Mint)