MSMEs are engines of our economy to achieve sustainable development
- The environment is an essential part of our existence, which further depends on the works that we do to earn a living. Industrialization or doing business and environment go hand in hand. To excel in both the fields- environment and industrialization, we need to adopt green technologies leading us on a path of sustainable development. The environmental sustainability revolves around making environmental friendly decisions and taking relevant actions that protect the nature, emphasizing on preserving the capability of the environment to further support our existence. At present, it is an important issue, as people are realizing the full impact that businesses and people can have on the environment and nature. It is not simply about reducing the amount of waste you produce or using less energy; however, it is concerned with developing processes that will lead to businesses becoming sustainable in the future and helping in saving our planet with better eco-friendly technologies.
- In recent years, the concern of sustainability has taken a centre stage of development globally and the Government of India has made several commitments at national and international platforms to save our environment with the help of various initiatives. One such measure is ‘Make in India’ with ‘Zero Defect & Zero Effect’ initiative of the government that expresses the zeal to balance economic growth with sustainability and social inclusion as well as encourages MSMEs to constantly upgrade their quality standards in products and processes without damaging the environment. All the sectors of the economy- agriculture, manufacturing and services will need to contribute to this collective objective of the nation-building with sustainability. With an improved push on making manufacturing sector a significant part of sustainable economic development, consumption of resources including fossil fuels or non-renewable resources is now far more significance than ever before.
- While large enterprises have access to resources and knowledge, it is the micro, small and medium enterprises and businesses that together contribute to almost half of the manufacturing output and a major number of employment opportunities, which requires the most attention. To help such MSMEs to adopt new and green technologies, the government has been advocating numerous schemes and policies, which can help these businesses to adopt and up-scale their businesses without damaging the environment. The Ministry of MSME and many other organizations and trade bodies have been assisting MSMEs to take benefits of schemes such as Technology Upgradation and Quality Certification’s ZED Certification Scheme, A Scheme for Promoting Innovation, Rural Industry & Entrepreneurship (ASPIRE), Credit Linked Capital Subsidy for Technology Upgradation (CLCSS), and Design Clinic for Design Expertise to MSMEs, among many other schemes. Fortunately, there are already several existing technologies, methods and models which are available for various sectors and definitely for those that have been identified in need of sustainable up-gradation of business.
- When we talk about sustainable development, there are two organizations- the Coir Board and the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), which lead the path of eco-friendly MSMEs. The Coir Board, which was set up under the Coir Industry Act, 1953 by the Government of India for the overall sustainable development of the coir industry in India. While KVIC is organization under the Ministry of MSMEs, seeks to - plan, promote, facilitate, organise and assist in the establishment and development of Khadi and Village Industries in the rural regions in coordination with other trusts and agencies engaged in development of rural areas. Both the organizations- KVIC and Coir Board are labour intensive and nature friendly. In the wake of industrialisation, and the mechanization, any coir unit or unit under KVIC require little capital for set up, thereby making them an economically possible option for any individual or aspiring entrepreneurs.
Even in the present difficult situation of COVID-19 pandemic, KVIC seemed very popular and helping people with their innovative ideas of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits. Keeping in view the huge demand for face masks, the KVIC has developed double-layered and triple-layered Cotton as well as Silk face masks made from double twisted Khadi fabric. On the other hand, the Coir Board has been utilizing the pandemic time efficiently by moving ahead with researches and development in the coir sector. The Board has been researching on Coir Geotextiles (CGT), which protect the land surface and promote quick vegetation. CGT is a great treasure of natural eco-friendly, erosion control blankets in woven and non-woven preparations along with its biodegradable properties. In June 2020 the CGT has been identified under a new material/new technology category and the Union Government has allocated 5% of the length of rural roads to be constructed with it. These were only a few examples of the excellence of the sustainable sectors- Coir and KVIC. The objective of achieving environmental sustainability can be accomplished when we encourage these sectors more and bring more enterprises under them. To achieve the target of setting up eco-conscious and eco-friendly businesses, aspiring or existing entrepreneurs can always get assistance from the Ministry of MSMEs’ Champion portal, where they can be guided and helped to form or upgrade enterprises.
- Starting or transforming a business into an eco-friendly enterprise is one of the newest trends nowadays with lots of new opportunities coming every day with new innovations, models and methods. Making MSMEs eco-conscious and eco-friendly not only helps in saving the environment but also assists businesses to grab consumers’ interests in the market, as more and more people are now moving toward green and organic products. In recent times, we have seen growing numbers of people moving toward the awareness of their purchases, which affect the planet and its beings, as well as consumers, are increasingly voting for green and eco-friendly products and services. Sustainable up gradations give a boom to the businesses as well as tends to have a lot of growth potential because people are becoming aware of the need for sustainable development and nature-friendly goods.
- The Champions portal works on Hub and Spoke model comprising 66 State-level Control Rooms at offices of MSME- DI, BR MSME- DI offices, KVIC offices, NSIC offices, and Coir Board offices, which are impeccably connected with the Central Control Room at the Ministry of MSME, Delhi. The portal aims to help MSMEs in the present difficult situation due to COVID-19 lockdown as well as support them in future in terms of finance, raw materials, labour, regulatory permissions, etc. The system encourages MSMEs to capture new opportunities, as well as identifies potential MSMEs, who can become National and International Champions. The motto of the Champions portal is to solve problems of the MSME sector in the short run and create them as National and International Champions in the long run.