Micro, small and medium enterprises are a crucial link between India’s economic growth and socio-economic transformation, said President Pranab Mukherjee while presenting the National Awards to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and Banks at a function at Vigyan Bhavan here. .

Mr. Mukherjee said the challenges to the MSME sector in India are many but the sector has great potential to be a true agent of socio-economic change. “But for that, we must direct our efforts at increasing the competitiveness of this sector by enhancing the availability of institutional credit, promoting innovation and technology, providing adequate industrial infrastructure, meeting the demands for skill development and capacity building, and strengthening market support,” he said.

Referring to the role of the sector in contributing to the nation’s GDP, the President said MSME’s contribute about 8 per cent of the country’s GDP, 45 per cent of the manufactured output and 40 per cent of the total exports. “This is a key driver of our country’s industrial growth as it comprises about 36 million enterprises that generate over 6,000 products and employ over 80 million persons,” he said.

The National Manufacturing Policy-2011 has envisaged the setting up of dedicated National Investment and Manufacturing Zones to bring together modern infrastructure, technology, skill development centres, and state-of-the-art connectivity to become the nuclei of manufacturing growth, he said, adding that he expects the manufacturing MSME units to take full advantage of this initiative.