Assam is emerging as the investment hub for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in the northeast but needs alternative financial mechanisms and technologies to multiply growth, a study says.
The study, carried out by the MSME Ministry’s Export Promotion Council (EPC) with knowledge firm BillMart FinTech, was released in Guwahati on Wednesday.
Presented to the State government, the study says most of the private investment is flowing into food processing, horticulture, organic, MSMEs and petroleum-based units. These sectors generate more jobs, promote start-ups, ensure inclusive growth and sustainable livelihood.
“Assam is increasingly emerging as an epicentre for investment, both for the government and private sector, and MSMEs may generate more than one lakh direct and indirect jobs during the current fiscal, provided COVID-19 subsides,” EPC chairman D.S. Rawat said.
The study entailed assessing the hardships faced by the MSMEs, although the “demand for their products have touched the pre-COVID level”.
61% of units based in State
Lack of access to credit and banking was found to be main problem faced by the MSMEs in the northeast, 61.48% of which are based in Assam. This translates into more than 67,000 industries in the State, out of which 88% are micro units and 11.5% are small and medium units, the study said.
The study observed that in 2018-19, Assam attracted new investment projects worth ₹1,16,202.6 million and completed projects worth ₹1,53,351.6 million. In 2020-21, projects worth ₹6,902.3 million were received and projects worth ₹33,986.6 million were completed, it said.
“Our objective is to voluntarily enhance entrepreneurial skill, update knowledge on various policies as well as incentives available, train manpower on application of technologies to multiply growth of business so that the region prospers,” Mr. Rawat said.
The focus has also been on linking MSMEs to financiers who provide credit at manageable rates of interest and offer them a range of services, from market-oriented consultations to chartered accountants.
“One can gauge the importance of MSMEs from the fact that they account for one-third of the country’s GDP and 48% of the exports and employ 11.5 crore people,” Jigish Sonagara of BillMart said.