My cabinet colleagues Shri Narayan Rane Ji, Shri Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma Ji, all other members of the cabinet, ministers from different states of the country, all my entrepreneurial brothers and sisters across the country associated with the MSME sector, all other dignitaries, ladies and gentlemen!
We have been taught a verse since childhood, and we have all heard this verse-
उद्यमेन ही सिध्यन्ति, कार्याणि ना मनौरथे:
That is, success is achieved only with hard work. Nothing happens by just thinking, and there is no shortage of thinkers. If I change the sentiment of this verse slightly in today's context, then I would say that the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan will be successful and India will be empowered only with the help of MSMEs. Although you belong to micro, small and medium enterprises, your role is very crucial for the heights that India is set to attain in the 21st century.
It is very important for the country's MSME sector to be robust. To ensure that India's exports increase continuously and the products reach newer markets, our government is taking decisions and making new policies keeping in mind this ability of yours and the limitless possibilities within this sector. We have resolved to make those unique local products from every district in every part of our country global.
We are trying to create a local supply chain for Make in India, which can reduce India's dependence on foreign countries. Therefore, unprecedented emphasis is being laid upon the expansion of the MSME sector. In line with this, various new schemes have been launched today. These schemes, worth thousands of crores, are related to the quality and promotion of MSMEs. To further strengthen the MSME ecosystem, we have come up with the RAMP scheme worth about Rs 6000 crore, another scheme to encourage first time exporters and a decision to expand the scope of the Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme. These important efforts of the government will help the MSMEs of India gain more momentum.
A while back, more than Rs 500 crore has been transferred digitally to 18,000 MSMEs of the country, right in front of you. That is, money has already reached their accounts. Under the Self Reliant India Fund of Rs 50,000 crore, more than Rs 1400 crore has been released for MSMEs. I congratulate all the beneficiaries and the entire MSME sector for the same. My best wishes to all!
Just before coming on stage, I got the opportunity to interact with many beneficiaries who had benefited from one or more schemes of the government. Now, they have created a new world by using their talent, hard work and skills.
During the interaction, I could see the confidence in them. There were mostly youngsters, mothers, sisters and daughters. I could see the confidence in all those entrepreneurs and feel the new vigour in the campaign for self-reliant India. Perhaps if I had more time, I would have spoken to them for hours and hours as each one had something to say. Each one of them had personal experience, courage and all of them have seen their success and reputation build before their own eyes. This in itself was a wonderful experience!
Today, many have also received awards. I congratulate those friends who have received the awards. But remember, when someone receives an award, the expectations increase manifold. We would like you to take a huge leap in what you have done. You inspire many with what you have done. So, create an environment that pushes you even further ahead.
You are well aware that the full form of MSME is Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. But these micro, small and medium enterprises are a huge pillar of India's growth trajectory. The MSME sector accounts for one third of India's economy. In simple words, if India is making 100 rupees today, then 30 rupees comes from my MSME sector. Empowering the MSME sector means empowering the entire society, making everyone a partner in the benefits of development and taking everyone forward. Crores of people associated with this sector come from rural areas of the country. Therefore, the MSME sector of the country i.e. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises is one of the top priorities of the government.
Today the whole world is impressed by the pace of India's economic development and our MSME sector plays a major role in it. That's why MSMEs are essential for the strength of the macro economy today. The MSME sector accounts for a large part of what India is exporting today. That's why MSMEs are essential for maximum exports today. To strengthen the MSME sector, our government has increased the budget by more than 650 per cent in the last eight years. Therefore, for us, MSME means - Maximum Support to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises!
More than 11 crore people are directly or indirectly connected with this sector. That's why MSMEs are very crucial for providing maximum employment today. So, when the biggest crisis in 100 years had hit us, we decided to save our small enterprises and give them a new strength. Under the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme, the central government has ensured Rs 3.5 lakh crore to the MSMEs.
According to a report, about 1.5 crore jobs were saved due to this. This is a huge figure. This figure is even greater than the population of several countries of the world. This help received at the time of disaster is today encouraging the MSME sector of the country to create new employment opportunities. During this year's budget, we have also announced the extension of the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme till March next year. The amount has been increased from Rs. 50 thousand crores to Rs. 5 lakh crores i.e. 10 times more.
During the 'Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal', our MSMEs are a great means of achieving India's colossal goal of self-reliance. There was a time when the earlier governments did not trust the power of this sector. They had kept this sector under shackles in a way, leaving it to its fate to see if they could do something on their own. It was up to them to look for opportunities and move forward. Here, small industries were kept small, no matter how much potential they had! A small definition was fixed for small industries. So, there was always a pressure on all of you that if your turnover was more than the set limit, you would stop getting the benefits. That's why they did not want to grow even if the scope was there. Even if some did grow, they would not show that on the papers. I am talking about others, not you. You have good intentions.
And it also had a major negative impact on employment. The companies that were capable of employing more people did not do so because that would make them cross the limits set for micro and small scale industries! They were scared of crossing the set limits in case the numbers increased. Due to this thought process and such policies, the development and progress of many industries was hindered.
We changed the definition of MSMEs to overcome this hurdle and also took care of the needs of micro, small and medium industries. We have ensured that these enterprises grow and continue to receive the necessary benefits and support. If any industry wants to grow and expand, then the government is not only supporting it, but also making the necessary changes in the policies.
Today be it the wholesale traders, retail traders or the retail vendors; all of them are taking advantage of loans under priority sector lending under the new definition of MSME. And you know what that means; the distinction between manufacturing and service sector has also been removed. Today, MSMEs have got a huge platform to provide goods and services to the government through GeM. And I would like to urge all of you friends and your associations in the MSME sector as well as the small enterprises to certainly register on the GeM portal.
If the government wants to buy anything, then it has to log in to the portal. If you say that you cannot provide that product, then it will look for some other seller. The government is a huge buyer. It needs various things, and mostly the things that you produce. And that's why I want you to campaign on a mission mode on the GeM portal. Today there are about 50-60 lakh sellers on that portal. Why can't we increase that number to three-four crore? In this way, even the government will have multiple options and choices of things.
See, there were a number of difficulties faced by MSMEs in terms of government procurement earlier. It was very difficult for them as there were tough requirements like huge tender values etc. So that poor fellow used to hand it over to someone else. But now even if you want to sell a thermos, then the government can buy it through the GeM portal.
I needed a thermos once in my office, so we logged in to the GeM portal and a lady from the village of Tamil Nadu was willing to sell that to me. And a thermos came to the PM's office from a village in Tamil Nadu. She got the payment and I got to have hot tea from that thermos. This is the power of the GeM portal and it is for your benefit. You should take advantage of it as much as you can.
Secondly, our government has taken another important decision i.e. not to allow global tender in government procurements for up to Rs 200 crore. This means, it is a reservation for you in a way. But it should not lead to a compromise in quality of products. Please do not think that the government will be compelled to purchase even if the quality is compromised. Rather show the government your capabilities so that it is forced to raise the bar from Rs 200 crores to Rs 500 crores. We are ready to raise it even to Rs 500 crores. Let's move towards a healthy competition.
In the global markets too, MSME industry is being given continuous encouragement so that it makes the country proud. In this direction, new initiatives have been taken for the 'first-time MSME exporters'. Be it financial assistance or help related to certification, these facilities will make the export process easier for the 'first-time exporters'. And I would like most of our people to look towards the global market. Don't worry if your factory is too small or your products are too small. Don't worry and keep searching. There will be someone in the world waiting for your product.
And I have also told my Missions under the External Affairs Ministry that besides the diplomatic work which they have been doing, they need to undertake three more tasks. I will evaluate the missions with three additional things: one - trade, second - technology and third - tourism. If you are a representative of India in a country, then you need to report the total goods imported by that country from India. I will keep this account.
Secondly, I would like to know if they could bring any good technology from that country to India or not. Their efforts will be evaluated. And the third thing to be measured is the number of people from that country who came to visit India. Every mission is trying to ensure these three Ts. But if you do not get in touch with the mission, if you do not let them know about your products, then what will those people associated with the missions do? The government is ready to help you, but instead of selling your brand just in your village, in your state and in your country, you have to go global. Today, you should take with you the dreams of your brand going global. Next time, I will ask if your products that were initially reaching 5 countries have increased to 50 countries or not. And do not give it away for free. You have to earn money by selling.
The MSME sector has expanded so much in the last 8 years because our government trusts the country's MSME entrepreneurs, artisans associated with cottage industries, handlooms and handicrafts. Our intention and sincerity are very clear and the results are visible. Let me give you an example of how we have brought about a change through the Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme. In 2008, when the country and the whole world were in the grip of economic recession, then this scheme was implemented. At that time, it was claimed that during the next 4 years i.e. from 2008 onwards, lakhs of jobs would be created. But even after 4 years, the then government could not even reach close to half of its goals.
After 2014, we have set new goals, adopted new methods, and started to implement this scheme with a new vigour in the interest of the country's MSMEs and the youth. Then the corona crisis hit the world. Many other crises came one after the other. You are witnessing the situation around the world yourself. Despite this, in the past few years, more than 40 lakh people have got employment under this scheme and through MSMEs.
During this period, margin money subsidy of about Rs.14 thousand crores has been given to these enterprises. Due to this, lakhs of new enterprises came up in the country. To provide employment to the youth of the country in large numbers, new dimensions are being added to this scheme today. Now, the projects under this scheme as well as its cost limit have been increased. In the manufacturing sector, it has been increased from Rs.25 lakhs to Rs.50 lakhs, and in the service sector it has been increased from Rs.10 lakhs to Rs.20 lakhs, that is double the amount!
Moreover, we have honoured the 100+ aspirational districts today. You must have seen the kind of work being done in our aspirational districts. The districts which even the states used to ignore before have become so strong today that the nation is honouring them. This is an example of how a change comes about. And we should help our youth of the aspirational districts. Besides, another big initiative has been taken in our country. For the first time, a special status has been given to our transgender community, and financial assistance is being given to them to ensure that they too get opportunities and carry forward their potential. We have worked in that direction.
The movie that we were watching also showcased a great example of how a major change comes about if we have the right policies and everyone's efforts in place, and that is our Khadi industries. At the beginning of independence, Khadi was given a lot of importance. Gradually, Khadi shrank and became the costume of only the leaders. It was limited to the leaders only. They would wear a long Khadi kurta and fight elections. That was the scenario. But we worked to revive that Khadi industry again. The country knows very well the policies that were there in the past.
Now for the first time the turnover of Khadi and Village Industries has crossed Rs 1 lakh crore. This has been possible because our small entrepreneurs, our sisters, and our daughters have worked very hard in the villages. The sale of Khadi has increased 4 times in the last 8 years. In the last 8 years, employment opportunities have been created for more than 1.5 crore people in Khadi and Village Industries. Now India's Khadi is going from local to global. Foreign fashion brands are also getting attracted towards Khadi. We should have faith in it. If we don't show any trust in it, why would the world trust it? If you do not respect your child at home, then how can you expect the people of your locality to respect your child? New avenues have been created for new markets, for newer areas, and the small industries are getting benefitted out of it.
Entrepreneurship today is becoming an easy option for the poor families in our villages, small towns and cities. One of the major reasons for this is the ease of getting a loan. Before 2014, it was very difficult for common man to reach the doorsteps of banks in India. It was almost impossible to get loans from banks without guarantee. Who would give loans to the village poor, the landless, small farmer, and small shopkeepers without guarantee? He had to go to the moneylender. Banks did not give them loans. So, they had to take money from elsewhere but the abnormally high interest rates would buden them. He was crushed under the burden of debt, and hence was forced to live a very defensive life. In such a situation, the poor, downtrodden, the deprived, exploited, backward, tribal and their sons and daughters living in the village did not even think about self-employment. They had to go to the cities for employment and live in slums. Now, we have come up with new options for our sisters and daughters. We have tried to take them out of those limited options.
The rapid development of such a vast country is possible only by taking everyone along. So in 2014, following the mantra of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas', we decided to widen this scope. For this, we chose the path of reforms, creation of new institutions, skill development and access to credit. Mudra Yojana has a huge role to play in making entrepreneurship easy for every Indian. This scheme of bank loan without guarantee has created a huge section of women entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurs who are dalits, tribals or belong to backward classes in the country. This section has also come up in new areas and in remote villages too.
So far, about Rs 19 lakh crore has been given as loans under this scheme. And among the borrowers there are about 7 crore such entrepreneurs who have started a business for the first time and have become new entrepreneurs. That is, with the help of Mudra Yojana, more than 7 crore people are associated with self-employment for the first time. Moreover, some have given employment to one, some to two people or, three. Now they are no longer job seekers but have become job creators.
Another interesting thing about the scheme is that about 70% of the 36 crore loans given under the Mudra scheme, has been given to women entrepreneurs. It is a matter of great pride and happiness. This is the greatest example of how the country is transforming and growing. Just imagine! Several of our sisters and daughters have become entrepreneurs and are self-employed by this one scheme. As a result, they have developed self-confidence. They have earned a reputation in their families and society.
The MSME sector may not be completely formal but access to credit has been formal. Those who assess India's economy do not discuss this aspect very much. And we are not talking about 10-20 thousand rupees, which was earlier considered as microfinance. Here we are talking about guarantee free finance ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 lakh, which is reaching women entrepreneurs today.
That is, earlier microfinance for women entrepreneurship was given only for animal husbandry and embroidery-weaving. I remember when we were in Gujarat, sometimes we would hear of such schemes of the government. They would give money to buy chickens and say that these chickens will produce these many chickens and eggs. And that poor person used to take a loan and buy five chickens. But in the evening some officers would come and would want to stay overnight. Staying for a night meant two out of the five hens were gone. We have all seen it, haven't we?
Times have changed today, friends. Everything was different before. We have changed the whole graph through the Mudra scheme. We have made them strong and confident. If you want 10 lakh rupees, just take it and do something out of it. I am also delighted to know that out of the total MSMEs registered on Udyam Portal, about 18 per cent are women, which is amazing! For this partnership to increase further, we have to work together.
This inclusiveness in entrepreneurship, this economic inclusion is social justice in the true sense. Have you ever thought that the people who work as street vendors or work on tracks could get loans from banks? I say with utmost confidence that whoever delivered vegetables or newspapers to the bank manager for years, probably never got a loan from his bank. It does not mean that he didn't believe them or something, but it was due to the mindset and the thinking that had created such a situation which he could not escape from.
Today the small street vendors stand at the banks and money is given to them without any guarantee and this is called Svanidhi. Today, under the PM Svanidhi Yojana, lakhs of such friends are not only getting loans, but have also found a way to make their small businesses bigger. The government is supporting these people who come from villages to cities like a friend and they are trying hard to get their family out of the vicious circle of poverty.
And you will be glad to know if I tell you that the vegetable vendors, milk vendors and other street vendors are making digital payments. Some people think 50 times before making a digital payment. They are afraid of getting the transactions recorded as it will go to the income tax department. So, they would avoid digital transactions. But the small vendors are making digital payments. And friends, I believe we should be equal participants in this progress. You have to take a lead in this journey of progress. Come on, I'm ready to walk with you, support you. This is true progress; this is development in a true sense.
Today, through this programme, I assure all my brothers and sisters associated with the MSME sector, that the government is ready to make policies to meet your needs. It is ready to make decisions and to walk proactively holding your hand. Come forward, friends!
I have no doubt that the vitality of self-reliant India is in the accomplishments of entrepreneurial India. It lies in you and your efforts. And I have faith in the MSME sector of the country, i.e. in all of you, in the young generation of the country, and especially in our daughters who are moving ahead with courage. And that's why I say that this country is about to fulfil all its dreams in front of your eyes. You will see it happen; you will see the change in front of your eyes.
I urge the MSME sector of the country to take full advantage of these schemes of the government. And I will meet your association. I will start keeping track of the GeM portal from today. I want to see if 1 crore more people have been added this week or not. Let the people of the association come to the ground. The government is ready to purchase from you, but first you need to connect with this scheme. Tell the government about your products. You will see, without any problem everything will be sold out.
Friends, I am glad that I have got the opportunity to honour my friends. That doesn't mean other people are not doing anything. Others should also prepare themselves and the next time I would get a chance to honour you, the achievers, as well. I hope you reach greater heights.
I wish you all the very best. Thanks a lot!