MSME tasked to play an important role in policy reviews for micro, small and medium enterprises across the country represented 26 official members and 20 industrial faces. Politics seems to dominate the choice of the latter — the list includes several BJP office-bearers, ex-party MLAs, and members of RSS affiliate Laghu Udyog Bharati.
Who are there?
The list revealed one BJP MLA, three ex-MLAs, one ex-MLA of AJSU; two former members of FICCI, and one member from Gujarat. A few of them like Teena Sharma was contacted, she said,” I had been the director for Assocham India where I was looking at women’s foundations and have been working in digital space, in Stand-Up India-Start-up India, and Mudra. That’s why I got nominated to this Board. I am also a woman and a child rights activist…I have experience on women’s financial inclusion and other things including policymaking.” Teena is a BJP candidate from Cuttack in 2009 and a director of two companies. When contacted, Kundan Kumar, BJP MLA from Begusarai, said he is a mechanical engineer and has been working for small enterprises.
Who should be there?
As per the MSME Development Act, the Board has 26 official members and is chaired by Union Minister (Nitin Gadkari). The others are the minister of state; six ministers from state governments; three MPs; a UT administrator; Secretary, MSME; Secretaries of Commerce and Industry, Finance, Food processing, Labour and planning; Chairman of a national bank; Chairman of a small industries bank; Chairman of IBA; one RBI official; three persons of eminence, two representatives of Central Trade Union Organisations and one official from MSME not below the rank of Joint Secretary.
TPT Policy Advocacy and Recommendations
- MSMEs are instruments of inclusive growth which touch upon the lives of the most vulnerable and marginalized. Thus, instead of taking a welfare approach, this sector should seek to nominate a credible member who will not disrupt the cycle of replenishment.
- The growth rate of MSME, on average, has declined considerably in terms of units and even employment but has improved marginally in terms of output and exports, in the post-liberalization period compared to the pre-liberalization period. The inclusion of political minds will further deteriorate the employment rate which will negatively impact the crippled economy. Moreover, the board should elect minds that could overcome its shortcoming rather than sacking out income.