New Delhi [India], December 4 (ANI): The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM) should create an industrial base in India, on the lines of 'Mittelstand' (Mittel-Stunt) of Germany, which has been recognized by the whole world for manufacturing metal equipment, said Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday.
Singh was speaking on the occasion of the inaugural address at the MSME Conclave, organized by the Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence in partnership with SIDM.
In view of the ever-changing security scenario, Singh said that the government's top priority is to achieve self-reliance in defence.
There is a need to move forward to unleash the full potential of MSMEs in the sector, he added.
The Defence Minister exuded confidence that Indian manufacturers and their associated MSMEs will play a major role in catering to the defence needs of the country and also meet the global requirement.
He described MSMEs as the backbone of the industry which is equally responsible for not only economic activities but also social development.
"Today, there is a sizeable number of MSMEs in our country, which contribute 29 per cent to our GDP through their national and international trade. After the agriculture sector, it is the biggest source of providing employment to about 100 million people. MSMEs also work to involve innovators and mediators in large enterprises. They help to fulfil the objectives of large industrial entities by becoming an important part of the value chain and supply chain," he added.
Singh pointed out that, as compared to large entities, the concentration of wealth by MSMEs is less and its distribution is dispersed, which helps in reducing economic inequality. MSMEs can definitely play a big role in empowering the youth of the country financially and fulfilling their dreams, he said.
"Due to the reforms undertaken by the government, the country's defence exports crossed Rs 38,000 crore mark in the last seven years; 12,000 MSMEs joined the defence sector and there has been an increase in R&D, startups, innovation and employment opportunities. SIDM has now more than 500 members due to these policies," he said. (ANI)