Indian MSMEs contribute about 30 percent to the country’s GDP and 40 percent to exports. However, the sector has been hit hard by the pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns.
In a bid to uplift and revitalise the sector, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a $500 million programme, named Raising and Accelerating Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Performance (RAMP), aimed at improving the performance of 555,000 MSMEs. It is also expected to mobilise financing worth $15.5 billion.
“The RAMP programme will intensify efforts to support firms to return to pre-crisis production and employment levels while laying the foundations for longer-term productivity-driven growth and generation of much-needed jobs in the MSME sector,” said Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India.
Last July, the World Bank had approved $750 million under the MSME Emergency Response Programme.
The government has also supported the MSMEs with several initiatives since the start of the pandemic. In the Union Budget 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had allocated the sector Rs 15,700 crore — more than double the previous year.
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“This [MSME] portfolio is associated with the most important issue — the country’s growth rate and employment potential.”