The government’s e-governance push for MSMEs in the form of a grievance portal — Creation and Harmonious Application of Modern Processes for Increasing the Output and National Strength (Champions) — which was launched on June 1, seems to be bearing results. Explaining the success of Champions, MSME minister Nitin Gadkari claimed to have resolved over 16,000 grievances of the 20,461 filed in the portal.
The Champions platform, which was formally launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is aimed to resolve issues around finance, raw materials, labour, regulatory permissions among others. Grievances filed either on the government’s Centralised Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) or any other portal of the MSME ministry are automatically pulled into the Champions portal.
Gadkari said that the portal is aimed to make smaller units big by solving their grievances, encouraging, supporting and handholding them. The grievances filed on the Champions portal are routed problem-wise to concerned branch, bureau and office heads under the MSME Ministry to attend them within three days.
This ICT based system is set up to help the MSMEs battling the pandemic-infused slowdown. It is a technology-packed control room-cum-management information system. In addition to ICT tools including telephone, internet and video conference, the system is enabled by artificial intelligence, data analytics and machine learning.
It is also fully integrated on a real-time basis with the government’s main grievances portal CPGRAMS and MSME ministry’s own other web-based mechanisms. As of now, 66 state-level control rooms are created and made functional.
The development comes after the finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the economic stimulus package. This includes setting up the INR 20,000 Cr ($2.64 Bn) subordinated debt for stressed MSMEs and equity infusion of INR 50,000 Cr ($6.62 Bn) through a Fund of Funds.
According to the MSME ministry’s annual report for 2019, India has currently over 63 Mn MSMEs out of which 99.4% are micro-enterprises. An estimated 32.4 Mn lakh MSMEs (51.25%) are in rural areas and 31Mn lakh MSMEs (48.75%) are in urban areas. However, till the end of May 2019, only 68.25 lakh MSMEs had registered as MSMEs on the UAM (Udyog Aadhar Memorandum) self-declaring platform.