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Government today issued guidelines related to setting up of the National Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Hub to provide professional support to entrepreneurs coming from such communities.
"The scheme is proposed to be applicable from the date of sanction till March 31, 2020. Total project cost is proposed to be is Rs 490 crore for the period from 2016-17 to 2019-20," the MSME Ministry said in an office memorandum.
The scheme would be implemented by the Ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) through National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC), a public sector undertaking under its administrative control.
The objective of the scheme is to promote "enterprise culture" amongst the SC/ST population.
It would also enable Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) to fulfill the target, which the Government has kept for procurement by them. The Public Procurement Policy 2012 stipulates that 4 per cent of procurement shall be done by Ministries, Departments and CPSEs from the enterprises owned by SC/ST.
"Presently, less than 0.5 per cent of total procurement of goods and services of CPSEs is made from enterprises owned by SC/ST. The purpose of the National SC/ST Hub is to enable SC/ST owned enterprises to participate more effectively in public procurement. The Hub would also enable the Government to develop entrepreneurship among SC/ST population," the Ministry said.
It said the first task would be to gather data about SC/ST Enterprises. The SC/ST Hub would work with the CPSEs, industry associations and SC/ST Enterprises to effectively participate in public procurement, adding that there is a need for networking, mentoring, handholding and provide soft interventions for SC/ST enterprises to enable them to supply to Government and CPSEs.
The Hub will provide mentoring and hand holding support to SC/ST entrepreneurs involving ex-bankers, industrialists, industry associations and other bodies for mentoring on the lines of similar scheme in NITI Aayog, besides policy advocacy with states for public procurement and development schemes.
It will also facilitate credit linkages for SC/ST entrepreneurs SC/ST entrepreneurs.