Maharashtra Govt Sets Up Rs 80 Cr Venture Fund For SC, ST Entrepreneurs

Dignitaries pose at the Lamp Lighting Ceremony during the Mega SC/ST Entrepreneurs Conclave at World Trade Centre Mumbai. (L-R) Subhash Desai, Hon’ble Minister for Industries and Mining, Government of Maharashtra, Satish Gavai (I.A.S.), Additional Chief Secretary (Industry), Government of Maharashtra, Ms. Kalpana Saroj, Managing Director, Kamani Tubes, Dr. Harshdeep Kamble (I.A.S), Development Commissioner (Industries), Directorate of Industries, Government of Maharashtra, Ms. Rupa Naik, Senior Director, MVIRDC World Trade Centre Mumbai

“Government of Maharashtra has set up an Rs 80 crore venture capital fund to support entrepreneurs belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Besides this, the state government supports entrepreneurship under special package scheme of incentives for SC and ST entrepreneurs. The state government aims to support at least 1,000 SC and ST entrepreneurs to set up manufacturing facilities in three ongoing industry cluster projects across the state. MIDC is also supporting SC and ST entrepreneurs through various schemes. I invite SC and ST entrepreneurs to take advantage of these schemes and be job givers rather than job seekers,” said Mr. Subhash Desai, Hon’ble Minister for Industries and Mining, Government of Maharashtra while inaugurating the Mega SC/ST Entrepreneurs Conclave at WTC Mumbai on December 3, 2018. The 3-day Conclave (December 3-5, 2018) was jointly organised by Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India and the Department of Industries, Government of Maharashtra in association with MVIRDC World Trade Centre Mumbai.

The Mega Conclave was organized to bring together SC and ST entrepreneurs from across Maharashtra to explore procurement opportunities with central and state public sector undertakings.

In October 2016, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched National SC ST Hub (NSSH) to ensure that central government and central public sector undertakings fulfill the 4% mandatory procurement from SC and ST entrepreneurs.

The minister thanked MVIRDC World Trade Centre Mumbai for supporting Government of Maharashtra in organising this mega event.

Speaking on this occasion, Ms. Alka Arora, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Government of India said, “Ministry of MSME has tied up with 17 states to promote SC-ST Hub. Annual procurement by central government departments and central public sector undertakings amounts to Rs 1.3 lakh crore business opportunity, of this government has mandated at least 4% procurement from SC and ST entrepreneurs.”

Ms. Arora informed SC and ST entrepreneurs to visit the newly created SAMBANDH portal to learn about the annual procurement plan of central public sector undertakings.

Speaking about the ambitious SC-ST Hub initiative of Government of India, Ms. Arora said under this programme, the government supports SC and ST entrepreneurs through vendor development, capacity building, special market access assistance, and outreach activities.

Ms. Arora further informed that the central government is working on preparing a comprehensive database on SCs and STs to ensure that these schemes reach the intended beneficiaries.

Satish Gavai (I.A.S.), Additional Chief Secretary (Industry), Government of Maharashtra suggested SC and ST entrepreneurs adhere to strict quality standards so that they can take advantage of procurement opportunities from public sector undertakings. He assured that Government of Maharashtra will enhance ease of doing business for small and medium enterprises in the days ahead.

In his address, Dr. Harshdeep Kamble (I.A.S), Development Commissioner (Industries), Directorate of Industries, M Government of Maharashtra said, “I urge SC and ST entrepreneurs to apply for equity funding under venture capital scheme of Government of Maharashtra. The state government provides equity funding to SC and ST entrepreneurs based on their profit and revenue projections.”

Dr. Kamble pointed out that Government of India has introduced a monitoring system for efficient implementation of the SC-ST Hub programme and he suggested a similar programme at the level of state governments.

In her remarks, Ms. Rupa Naik, Senior Director, MVIRDC World Trade Centre Mumbai said, “World Trade Centre Mumbai encourages SC and ST entrepreneurs to enhance their business prospects by participating in international trade. SC and ST entrepreneurs can make use of our wide network of more than 320 World Trade Centers across the world to explore export opportunities. In future, we can work with the Government of Maharashtra to launch a similar conclave for promoting exports.”

The inaugural session was also addressed by other dignitaries such as Ms. Kalpana Saroj, Managing Director, Kamani Tubes, Mr. B Thiagarajan, Chairman, CII Maharashtra State Council, and Mr. Nattha Ram, Chairman, Steel Mont Pvt Ltd.

The 3-day Conclave will feature interactive panel sessions, vendor development programmes, B2B Meetings, exhibitions and field visits. More than 150 exhibitors, including start-up enterprises, central and state public sector undertakings, micro, small and medium enterprises participated at the event. During the event, leading central and state public sector undertakings from sectors such as ports, shipping, railways, road transport, fertilizers, oil and gas will interact with SC and ST entrepreneurs with their procurement plan.

The event received an overwhelming response from more than 700 delegates representing micro, small and medium enterprises, start-up enterprises, industry clusters and others from Maharashtra.

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Gautam Sahijwala