Lack of updated MSME data hampering timely funds disbursal

Though government runs a lot of schemes to support micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which have faced the maximum brunt of the Coronavirus-induced lockdown in 2020, providing them timely and adequate funds becomes a roadblock, a fact which has been acknowledged even by the Finance Ministry.

Funds are provided to MSMEs by the ministry under various centrally-backed schemes like the credit guarantee scheme, MUDRA scheme and collateral-free loan scheme for street vendors among many others. However there have been problems of timely financial assistance not being able to reach these small sector units, which defeats the very purpose for which these scheme were formulated.

One of the biggest obstacle in providing adequate and timely funds to MSMEs is the non-availability of reliable and consolidated data about them.

According to the National Sample Survey’s (NSS) 73rd round, which was held way back in 2015-16 by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), there are 6.34 crore unincorporated non-agricultural MSMEs in the country which are involved in several economic activities.

In other words, government is providing assistance to MSMEs on the basis of data which was prepared on a survey conducted seven years ago!