Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, speaking at the India Manufacturing Show on Thursday (November 2), highlighted the contributions made by the small industries to the socio-economic development of the country, noting that they ensure more dispersion of wealth in society in comparison to large industries.
“Compared to investments made, small industries create more employment opportunities than large industries. They also ensure a more even dispersion of wealth in society. Many MSMEs are doing well in exports and are becoming a part of the global supply chain of the world’s biggest companies. Heavy industries, too, play a big role in the nation’s development, but the country cannot fully progress by ignoring small industries,” the defence minister said.
Rajnath Singh was speaking after inaugurating the three-day ‘India Manufacturing Show’ in Bengaluru.
The show has been jointly organised by Laghu Udhyog Bharti and the IMS Foundation and supported by the Department of Defence Production under the Ministry of Defence.
The central theme of the event is ‘Make in India, Make for the World’. The sixth edition of the ‘India Manufacturing Show’ will provide a platform for the exhibitors to showcase their technologies, equipment and R&D in different sectors, such as aerospace and defence engineering, automation, robotics and drones, to the participants.
Addressing the industry captains and young entrepreneurs present at the inaugural function, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh described the small-scale industries as the backbone of India’s economy that contribute immensely to the development of the nation.
“Small industries are the motor of the Indian economy. The faster the motor runs, the quicker the vehicle of the economy moves,” he said, also crediting the small industries for maintaining stability in the economy.
During his address, the Minister remembered the time when India was called the ‘golden bird’ and a big reason he said was that there were many small industries in villages and towns, which provided employment to the people.
“In ancient times, there were no large-scale industries in India; they were only small industries. Textile, iron and shipbuilding were the three industries for which India was known all over the world. They showcased our industrial capability,” Singh noted.
Rajnath Singh also underlined the ability of small industries to adapt to the changes more easily than large industries.
“It is the adaptability of small industries which increases the possibilities of innovation. Many times, small industries bring more innovation than large industries in terms of new products, services and business models,” he said.
Referring to the opinion of a section of people who believe that private industries operate on selfish motives, Rajnath Singh said, “There is a need to understand the concept of economy–the fine line between selfish motive and profit motive. The profits of private industries reach crores of families in India, due to which the economy of this country is running. If private industries do not work on a profit motive, they will not be able to contribute to the economy. ‘Profit is not selfish; profit is legitimate benefit’.”
Rajnath Singh voiced the importance his government attaches to small-scale industries and listed out a number of decisions taken to ensure their welfare. These include the MUDRA scheme, launched in 2015, under which a provision was made to provide collateral-free loans to MSMEs. The government also provided additional credit worth crores of rupees for MSMEs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The defence minister also enumerated the unprecedented steps taken for MSMEs in the defence sector.
“We are the first government to impose restrictions on itself for the import of weapons. We released five positive indigenization lists, under which 509 pieces of equipment have been identified, the manufacturing of which will now take place in India. In addition, four positive indigenization lists for Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) were also promulgated, under which 4,666 items were identified that will be manufactured within the country. To ensure adequate demand assurance for our domestic industries, we reserved 75 percent of the defence capital acquisition budget, which amounts to approximately Rs one lakh crore, for purchases from local companies. These steps will strengthen our MSMEs and make them ‘Aatmanirbhar’,” he said.
(With inputs from ANI)