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Centre to play ‘enabler’ role in India’s digitisation process

It is absolutely imperative for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to be digitised in order to pursue opportunities presented before the country in the post-COVID world, Union Minister of State for Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar said here on Saturday.

The Union Minister said the Centre is enacting policies and rules, and providing incentives to make sure every participant of the economy gets digitised,including MSMEs, which are a significant component, in the interest of the nation.

He said MSMEs are at the heart of India’s ambition to become a significant player in the supply chain rejig as well as producer of digital and manufactured products and services for the world.

“Fundamentally, digitising of MSMEs, digitising of your enterprise means you become more efficient than the competitor, you create more innovative products, and frankly you have access to a large network of markets than you will ever have as a non-digitised stand-alone MSME,” he said.

The minister was speaking after inaugurating Smart Manufacturing Competency Centre (SMCC) in Ahmedabad, which has been set up by industry body NASSCOM, Ministry of Electronics and IT as well as Gujarat government.

“It is absolutely imperative for MSMEs to pursue these opportunities that are in front of us as a nation, and for that, it is absolutely necessary they are digitised,” he said.

Chandrasekhar said trends in the post-COVID world point at opportunities, including changes in supply chain, digitisation of government enterprises and consumers, innovation as the future of product and services, and making start-ups a “deep embedded component of economy”.

He said the SMCC will be a very important starting point to achieve this as it will engage start-ups and technology solution providers to offer diverse digital solutions to MSMEs and manufacturing enterprises.

He said the centre will not just play matchmaker in the process but an “enabler and actually the director of the digitisation process of the MSMEs.” “This is Prime Minister Modiji’s goal that digitisation of our economy will make our nation more competitive, will create more jobs, more industry, more revenues and GDP. And for that, digitisation and digi-enablement of MSMEs are absolutely important,” he said.

Chandrasekhar, who is also Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, said the start-up initiatives of the Centre will focus on creating opportunities for youths in Tier-2 and 3 cities.

He also said the Centre’s Data Protection Bill will ensure it does not hurt the start-up eco system and disrupt its business momentum, adding that the Bill will be decided keeping this in mind.

It is the Union government’s “unrelenting objective” to keep the internet open, safe, trusted and accountable, for which rules rules for cyber security have been issued.

“These rules for cyber safety are for the benefit of the country and digital citizens. ..Whatever VPNs are used and misused for criminal activities, operators will have to cooperate and produce data. This is the only restriction,” Chandrasekhar said. PTI

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