National SC/ST Hub Scheme
National SC/ST Hub scheme under the Ministry of Medium and Small Enterprises – MSME- has been launched with an objective to promote the SC/ST entrepreneurs. It may be recalled that the announcement with regard to National SC/ST Hub scheme was made in the budget speech of 2016-17, in order to empower the Dalits and the downtrodden communities in the country so that a culture of entrepreneurship can be cultivated among them. The revolutionary project aims to tap the unused potential of the said sections to the full extent.
The scheme endeavors to increase substantially the number of SC/ST owned enterprises to enable socio-economic empowerment of SC/ST communities. Despite public procurement order mandating 4% annual procurement, by Central Ministries / Departments and Public Sector Undertakings, from SC/ST enterprises, it is reported with regret that the procurement form SC/ST enterprises is less than 1% due to low participation of the community, which deserves urgent attention. To bridge this gap between the target and the existing situation the scheme has been put in operation.
The scheme has been conceived and planned to inculcate the spirit of self-employment among the SC / ST population. The large sections of scheduled caste and scheduled tribes population have, hitherto been deprived of conducive environment and opportunities to become part of the mainstream economic system. To make the scheme fully successful and result oriented, industry associations like DICCI, CII, FICCI and FISME have also been roped in to cooperate with budding entrepreneurs among these sections in the mission mode.
The striking features of the project to be rolled out in mission mode are mentioned hereunder:
- An initial allocation of Rs. 490 crore for the period 2016-2020 has already been allotted by the Ministry of Medium and Small Enterprises for the National SC/ST Hub.
- The Hub aims to focus on strengthening market access/linkage, monitoring, capacity building, leveraging financial support schemes and sharing industry best practices, among others.
- The National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) headquartered in Delhi will be the nodal agency overseeing the developments related to the Hub, giving all kinds of technical and operational support from the specialized staff meant for this purpose.
- Under the scheme the districts which have large concentrations of SC/ST entrepreneurs are being targeted and given top priority at the grass root level.
- The projects are being started on a pilot basis with identified CPSEs in the selected districts to turn them in to entrepreneurs and business hubs
For the effective implementation of the scheme the Empowered Project Approval Committee has been constituted by the government of India which has approved the following proposals:
- Subsidy for Single Point Registration Scheme (SSPRS) for SC/ST enterprises for participation in Government purchases by charging a nominal fee of Rs. 100 per unit of SC/ST enterprises.
- Special Marketing Scheme (SMAS) to provide marketing support to SC/ST owned MSMEs by facilitating double the rate of country specified daily allowance as per MEA guidelines including expenses for accommodation, transport etc for SC/ST enterprises. It also makes the provision of reimbursement of the transport cost for participation in vendor development programs.
- Subsidy for performance and credit rating scheme for SC/ST enterprises clearly mentions that that renewal subsidy would be provided only to the SC/ST units with the rating up to 5% and additional subsidy for SC/ST units up to 15% would be made available.