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West Bengal outshines others in MSME employment generation as per Central Govt. data

5 March, 2021 14:52:58
West Bengal outshines others in MSME employment generation as per Central Govt. data

West Bengal has emerged as one of the Top performers in the MSME Sector, with 88L+ MSME units and employing 135L+ people! 

Well, this is a data taken from the Central Government’s MSME Ministry’s annual report of 2019-2020. In the 2019-2020 annual report published by the MSME Ministry, West Bengal surfaced as one of the top performers in the MSME sector, employing 135.52 lakh people in 88.67 lakh units. And all this was achieved at a time when the state battled against two of its worst crises in recent times, COVID-19 pandemic and super-cyclone, Amphan, that left a trail of death and destruction on its track.

CMIE’s state-wide distribution of MSMEs in the country and number of people employed clearly shows that West Bengal has actually grabbed the second spot, just behind Uttar Pradesh. However, both states share the same percentage of MSMEs in the country.

Amid this bleak scenario, it came as a surprise and a big relief that West Bengal continued its consistency and again topped in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) or small-scale industries (SSI's) sector!

The nationwide lockdown imposed by the government in March 2020 to tackle Covid-19 pandemic, affected the Indian economy immensely. Many small establishments and manufacturing units were compelled to shut down for good and people lost their jobs. Unemployment rates soared in the country. Amid this bleak scenario, it came as a surprise and a big relief that West Bengal continued its consistency and again topped in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) or small-scale industries (SSI's) sector!  

As economist Santosh Bhar pointed out: ‘In a developing country like India, MSMEs are the backbone of the economy which contribute substantially in the socio-economic growth of the nation. MSMEs not only play crucial role in providing large employment opportunities at comparatively lower capital cost than large industries but also help in industrialization of rural and backward areas, thereby, reducing regional imbalances, assuring more equitable distribution of national income and wealth. MSMEs are complementary to large industries as ancillary units and this sector contributes enormously to the socio-economic development of the country. The significance of the MSMEs sector can be noted from the fact that it is the second-largest employment provider, after agriculture in India.’

West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee has been extremely proactive and even when she was the Opposition leader, she always spoke in favour of encouraging the MSMEs for the growth of economy in the state.

The West Bengal government has consistently backed and encouraged the growth of this sector with various incentives to attract entrepreneurs. Although detractors twist facts and propagate that many people from the state have been forced to migrate to other parts of the country in search of employment as there is no job opportunities in West Bengal. But hard facts say otherwise. Bengal is one of the leading job providers in the MSME sector, and that Bengal has also managed to curb unemployment. Even during Lockdown months, the sector was encouraged and given constant flow of work for making masks and PPE kits for COVID frontline workers.

In case of West Bengal the status of MSME has witnessed a steady growth and has recorded a phenomenal growth. In fact, its future looks very optimistic.

West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee has been extremely proactive and even when she was the Opposition leader, she always spoke in favour of encouraging the MSMEs for the growth of economy in the state. All India Trinamool Congress Party came to power in 2011 and she took the reins of the government in her hand. From the very beginning, Ms Banerjee prioritized the growth and development of the MSMEs. Her government not only encouraged setting up new units but also put thrust on developing the old ones. MSMEs have also played a crucial role in pushing Bengal’s GDP by 2.7 times from 2011. 

The role of MSME is well established in Indian economy which accounted for 8.72 per cent   to the national GDP in 2008-09, 45 per cent of the manufactured output and 40 per cent of the exports. In case of West Bengal the status of MSME has witnessed a steady growth and has recorded a phenomenal growth. In fact, its future looks very optimistic. And the state of unemployment in West Bengal, as constantly being highlighted by Opposition parties using wrong data is also much better than the rest of India. Contrary to allegations by opposition parties, Bengal’s unemployment rate actually dipped from 6.2 per cent in December 2019 to 6 per cent in December 2020. It must also be noted that this figure had increased to 17.4 per cent during the months of April-May 2020 ie. during peak lockdown.

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