As if taking a cue from Sahakar Bharati leader and RBI Board member Satish Marathe, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has asked the MSME sector to take help from co-op banks and credit co-ops, among others.
Intending to build a marketing portal called ‘Bharat Craft’ on the lines of China’s Alibaba, Gadkari hoped to rewrite how business is done in the MSME sector. “We will provide a direct interface between buyers and sellers” he said.
Talking to Indian Cooperative earlier, Satish Marathe said future areas of operations for the UCB sector should be SMEs and women entrepreneurs. Huge business opportunities await the sector in these two areas, he added.
Giving details Marathe added “There are 58 lac SMEs and they contribute 30 per cent of GDP. There is a need not only to finance them but also hand-hold them. A country of 130 crore would be needing to produce much more and together we can have a win-win situation both for SMEs and UCBs”, Marathe had stated.
Similarly, women self-help groups could be a source of huge business activities, said Marathe. There are 87 lac SHGs in the country which are being managed by just five thousand NGOs. Co-op needs to step in and give them finance and skill igniting numerous economic activities across states. In this connection, Marathe recounted the Sahakar Bharati experiment of floating a few thousand SHGs which have proved very successful so far.
“One of the reasons why co-operatives in India have failed to grow in the last 30-40 years is our inability to come up with new generation co-ops as is the case with the developed nations”, Marathe reasoned.
A similarity of content in speeches- one by Gadkari and the second one made earlier by Marathe is worthy of attention. Gadkari said MSME gives employment to about 11 crore people and has the potential to take it to 15 crore in the next five years, reports Business Standard.
“We must also work with cooperative banks, NBFCs (non-banking finance corporations), credit cooperative societies, Sidbi (Small Industries Development Bank of India) and financial corporations of state governments,” said Gadkari.