The MSME ministry today asked all government departments and public sector units to find ways to meet the 4 per cent procurement target from enterprises owned by scheduled caste/scheduled tribes (SC/ST). The Public Procurement Policy 2012 stipulates that 4 per cent of the total procurement shall be done by ministries, departments and Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) from the entities owned by SC/ST. "Find out what more needs to be done to achieve this objective," Secretary in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Ministry Arun Kumar Panda said here. He was addressing the national SC/ST hub (NSSH) conclave. Panda also said that the ministry is considering organising a national conclave this year, where all the stakeholders including banks, CPSEs, states and incubators would be invited to deliberate upon the issue. "We will have to come together to meet this target," he said, adding that PSUs should identify nodal officers who can act as a single point of contact for all activities related to NSSH. These officers would be responsible for providing procurement related data and also detailing about types of goods and services which can be procured. In order to achieve the 4 per cent target, the government created NSSH under the MSME ministry.
The hub aims at providing SC/ST enterprises to access new markets. CPSEs face certain challenges while carrying out the procurement as there is lack of validated data of SC/ST entrepreneurs, skills to make quality products, awareness about the procurement policy and absence of mechanism for establishing linkages between CPSEs and these enterprises. Joint Secretary in the ministry Alka Arora said that the ministry is working on all these challenges. NSSH facilitation centres are being launched at 15 locations to provide handholding and mentoring support to these entrepreneurs, she said. For capacity building, a target has been fixed to train 2,000 SC/ST units in sectors such as leather and carpet. She added that to achieve better results, vendor and entrepreneurship development programmes can be organised besides market linkages needs to be established.
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