The MSME sector has created a web of opportunities for the unemployed youth in India. Different Indian states have responded to this revolutionary change by taking up the MSME sector to another level has helped the economy grow at a tremendous pace.
The growing trend of MSMEs is found in almost every state. One of the most benefited states from this uprising trend in Assam – the land of blue hills. The economy of Assam has shown a significant boost with the rise of MSMEs.
This is also because of the opportunities it provides to the people. MSME sector has marked its importance in the modern era phenomenally. It has given a new shape to the urbanization of different underdeveloped cities and towns of Assam.
Assam is located at an excellent location, providing a gateway to the South-East region. It also enjoys a favorable climate for doing business. When it comes to resources, they have a bundle of rich minerals and agricultural facilities.
Moreover, the state government has introduced various schemes and initiatives to boost the MSME sector in the state. These give Assam an edge over other states for setting up their small and medium enterprises.
MSME Sector in Assam
Indian GDP comprises 8% growth from the MSME sector, which gives various states a reason to increase the involvement of people in the various business lines. Assam is at a booming stage when it comes to the number of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises.
With a whopping 66,854 industries, Assam receives funding and investments from various reputed companies like ONGC. Among these industries, 88% account for micro, while the remaining 11.5-12% consist of small and medium industries.
Developing infrastructure and ease of credit has raised the number of industries. Businesses have massive potential to grow in Assam due to easy connectivity of regions and hubs, availability of raw materials, and increasing customer base. With skill development programs and the creation of job opportunities, the future growth of MSMEs in Assam is promising.
State Government Initiative And Schemes
The increasing number of MSMEs is a great sign of future growth in Assam. One of the most significant elements in this success is the role of the Assam government. There are many initiatives and programs implemented by the state government to better the MSMEs sector. The most successful schemes and initiatives are mentioned hereunder.
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Set up by the government of Assam, the Boneej scheme aims to help the MSME industries and businesses established in rural areas of the state. These industries are set under the traditional and micro sectors in the state.
It functions by assisting and developing the industries for lifting the industrial growth. The prime focus is on weaker regions of tier-2 and tier-3 cities. It also operates to facilitate employment growth. As a result, the ease of doing business index will also grow. The government provides raw materials and primary services to different industries in the regions.
The industries in the area should be functioning for at least 2 years in the rural areas of the state. The manufacturing process should also be carried out in the same rural area. The applicant should fall in the age bracket of 18 to 50 years with no minimum educational qualifications requirement. In order to receive financial aid, the industries should have borrowed a minimum of 1 Lakh.
There are various industries in Assam set up in rural areas. These include jute, jewelry, pottery, blacksmith, sitalpati, musk, japi, candles, food items such as papad, fireworks, bell meta, etc.
Transport Subsidy Scheme
This scheme helps connect different regions of Assam to ensure there is an uninterrupted supply of raw materials and finished goods. It connects various inaccessible areas where new industries and businesses can be set up. Under this scheme, a person receives reimbursement for the damages that occurred during the transportation of goods due to hilly areas or inappropriate terrain.
Mukhyamantri Krishi Sa-Sajuli Yojna
As the name suggests, the CM Farm Tool Scheme is developed to provide financial assistance to the farmers and motivate them to produce more. Under this scheme, the Assam government provides Rs. 5000 each to all the farmers of the state. Through this finance scheme, it benefits more than 5 lakh families.
The age of the farmers should be at least 21 years. Apart from the regular farmers, sharecroppers or tenant farmers who have at least 1 acre of cultivation area can also apply under the program. These farmers should have a savings bank account to receive benefits under the scheme.
Collaboration With SIDBI
The Assam government partnered with SIDBI (Small Industries Development Bank of India) to promote and smoothen the MSME sector in the state. The partnership aims to develop the following three areas in Assam:
- Cluster development and livelihood
- Enterprise promotion
The event held for the tie-up emphasized on crucial state-level institutions to step forward to manage various enterprises and industries. It focussed on providing necessary funds to power the startup status in the state. Apart from this, the event also involved significant talks on the credit guarantee system.
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Assam Chah Bagichar Dhan Puraskar Mela Scheme
This scheme is focused on helping the Assam tea garden workers by providing them better access to the credit system. It also involves taking the farmers a step ahead by facilitating cashless transactions. The Assam government provides every tea farmer Rs. 2500 directly in their savings bank account.
Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Yojana (PMRY)
The government has given special focus to industries such as horticulture, piggery, poultry, and fishing. In order to avail of benefits under the scheme, the total project cost should be a minimum of 2 Lakh. The subsidy for the projects is provided at 15% with a maximum limit of Rs. 15,000.
North-East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP)
This government of India scheme aims at rapid industrialization and state development in different northeast regions. To achieve this aim, the government has provided various subsidies for smooth investment, benefits for establishing different units such as biotechnology industrial units, etc. Apart from this, it collaborates with the transport subsidy scheme to gain more investors in the northeast states.
The Industries and Commerce Department of the Government of Assam launched an initiative to motivate the youth to take up entrepreneurship and establish businesses. This scheme involves field visits to various industries, organizations, manufacturing units, etc. These visits help students get practical exposure to MSMEs. As a result, they show interest and enthusiasm for starting an MSME venture.
Assam Bikash Yojana
This Assam government initiative helps provide the educated unemployed youth with various employment opportunities in their interest fields. The tourist department is the significant link in the program as it assists the youth financially to involve themselves in tourism opportunities and roles such as restaurants, dhabas, transport, etc.
Apart from these topmost schemes, other notable initiatives of the government include SVAYEM Scheme for Assam Youth Empowerment, Assam Farmer’s Credit Subsidy Scheme (AFCSS), Wage Compensation Scheme for Pregnant Women in Tea Gardens, Na-Bowari Scheme, Assam Affordable Nutrition & Nourishment Assistance Yojana (Anna Scheme), Startup Assam, Arundhati Gold Yojana, etc.
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Vision Of State Government Towards The Growth Of MSME
The Assam government has established various plans to develop the MSME sector in the state. Through its farsighted vision, the state aims to grow the MSME ecosystem. The following points highlight the vision of the state government.
- The government aims to develop an accessible and smooth infrastructure for promoting new entrepreneurs and businesses.
- It also aims to provide every possible technical, financial, and managerial support or assistance to various industries like bamboo, japi, etc.
- The main target is to uplift the confidence of people in different MSME sectors. Apart from this, there are many industries that require adequate funds. The government also aims to focus on these units.
- The vision also consists of developing economic infrastructure for better transportation of goods and services.
- Lastly, by coordinating different industries, it aims to promote exports and a better standard of living.
Assam never misses out on opportunities provided by the government. MSME sector is one such key area where Assam is racing at an impressive rate. The above schemes are a primary reason for this significant trend.
However, even after the introduction of such schemes, people hesitate to start a new business due to a lack of clarity regarding different business aspects. But, platforms like MSMEx have built a community where experts solve business problems through live sessions and pro tips.