On 30th June 2022, the Prime Minister launched the five-year ‘Raising and Accelerating MSME Performance’ (RAMP) scheme to strengthen India’s Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector. It is a World Bank-assisted central government program announced in the Union Budget of 2022-23 with the outlay of INR 6,062.45 crore, of which INR 3750 crore would be loaned by the World Bank and the remaining 2312.45 crore would be contributed by the Indian government. It targets improvement in the performance of 5.55 lakh MSMEs, and aims to enhance access to market and credit by strengthening institutions, enhance centre-state partnerships, address issues of delayed payments and greening of MSMEs, and ramp up implementation capacity and MSME coverage in states, with impact enhancement of existing MSME schemes.

The scheme includes the preparation of Strategic Investment Plans (SIPs), in which all states and union territories will be invited. Monitoring and policy review of the scheme would be undertaken by an apex National MSME Council headed by the Minister for MSME. The monetary support will be routed into the MSME Ministry’s budget against ‘Disbursement Linked Indicators’ (DLIs) to support the ministry’s ongoing MSME programmes. The DLIs would include implementing the National MSME Reform Agenda, accelerating MSME sector centre-state collaboration, strengthening the receivable financing market for MSMEs, enhancing the effectiveness of the CGTMSE scheme, and reducing the incidence of delayed payments.

As of March 2022, there were 7.9 million (79 lakh) MSMEs in India. They contribute about 30% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Such enterprises employ about 110 million (11 crore) people across India and make up nearly 48% of the country’s overall exports. The efforts of MSMEs in India are expected to be the key drivers of Aatmanirbhar Bharat and strength of the sector is important for increasing India's exports and for India's products to reach new markets.

The scheme entails a wide ambit of benefits for micro and small entrepreneurs. It will promote a larger formalisation in the MSMSE sector and improve capacity building, practices and processes, handholding, skill development, quality enrichment, technological upgradation, digitization, outreach and marketing promotion. It will address the generic and Covid-related problems in the MSME sector and foster generation of employment. It also aims to complement the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan by fostering innovation, encouraging ideation, incubating new business and entrepreneurship, enhancing industry standards and leveraging Industry 4.0 to make MSMEs competitive and self-reliant. Further, it will be supplemented by the Capacity Building of First-Time MSME Exporters (CBFTE) scheme to realise export potential by boosting the quality of MSME products and services to match international standards and help MSMEs improve their participation in the global value chain.

With the effective implementation of proposed schemes, the micro and small entrepreneurship ecosystem in India is set to reach new heights.

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