Union Minister for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises and Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari has said that policy simplification of the government has resulted in an increased number of women entrepreneurs in the country. He said, there are now around 80 lakh women entrepreneurs in MSME sector of the country and there has been an increase of about 38% under PMEGP enterprises being established by women entrepreneurs in last 5 years.Addressing the inaugural session of ‘Conference on Empowering Women Entrepreneurs’ in New Delhi last evening, Shri Gadkari said that the Government is committed to no discrimination against women entrepreneurs, and called upon them to maintain high standards in the quality and delivery of products. Recognising that the women entrepreneurs face daunting challenges, he complimented them for standing tall against all odds. He also informed that the Government is working on launching a new website for MSME sector on the lines of Alibaba platform for marketing MSME products.More than 6000 women have been trained by the Ministry of MSME in incense stick (agarbatti) manufacturing and packaging. Over 150 women have been trained in Electric pottery in the terrorism affected areas of Baramula district. Further, nearly 25 girls in Pulwama and around 100 girls in Kathua have been trained in tailoring. 125 women from Nagrota near Jammu are making 7500 khadi rumals per day. Now, Central Ministries & PSUs are procuring 25% from MSMEs and it has been directed that 4% of purchases should be from SC/ST entrepreneurs and 3 % from women entrepreneurs.
Efforts are being made to increase the participation of women in the field of honey production. The work on a marketing website to sell honey products in the global market is in progress. Women are also being given “Solar Charkhas”.The three-day conference has been organised by Ministry of MSME in collaboration with various industry associations like FICCI-flo, CII and India SME Forum. A panel discussion on “creating a conducive business Eco System for Empowering Women Entrepreneurs’ was also arranged for more than 300 women entrepreneurs which come from all parts of the country. Shri Gadkari and Minister of State for MSME Shri Pratap Chandra Sarangi congratulated the women entrepreneurs on the eve of International women’s day and felicitated women entrepreneurs at the Conference.Shri Sarangi said that the dream of 5-trillion-dollar economy of Prime Minister cannot be reached without empowerment of female entrepreneurs. He said that the Ministry of MSME has been supporting women entrepreneurs through various schemes related to financial support, market access, entrepreneurship development, exports and international cooperation, training and skill development programmes implemented by organisations like National Small Industries Corporation(NSIC), Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC), Coir Board, MSME Development Institute etc. Under the schemes implemented by the Ministry of MSME, a total of 3.13 Lakh women have been benefited during the last 5 years.Secretary Dr. Arun Panda appealed all the female entrepreneurs to take maximum benefits from the portal ‘MSME SAMBANDH’ which gives all the relevant information about procurements made by CPSEs and a portal ‘Udyam Sakhi’ which is meant for female entrepreneurs. He also informed that female entrepreneurs are being given 25 per cent subsidy in urban areas while 35 per cent subsidy is being given in rural areas. Development Commissioner and Special Secretary Sh. Ram Mohan Mishra and Jt. Secretary Smt. Alka Arora also addressed the gathering.