**Bhubaneswar:** Promotion and growth of MSMEs has been the top most priority of the State Government, said Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera while inaugurating the Odisha MSME International Trade Fair-2019 at IDCO Exhibition Ground here on Monday.
On this occasion, the 400 MSMEs and 40 Start-ups along with the 32 entrepreneurs from 04 countries namely Iran, Bangladesh, South Korea and Cambodia participating in the Trade Fair were welcomed by Behera to explore business opportunities in Odisha.
He asserted that more than 3.67 lakh MSM enterprises have been established in the state with a cumulative investment of more than Rs 17,863 crore which are providing employment to over 14.61 lakh persons.
Investment promotion in the MSME sector remains a focus area of the government and altogether 724 projects worth Rs 2765 crore have been approved by District Level Single Window Committees since April, 2015, added Behera.
He wished all the international participants, industry associations, entrepreneurs and startups all the very best for their business promotion and entrepreneurial endeavours.
Speaking on this occasion, MSME Minister Prafulla Samal said, “Development of MSMEs and provision of a conducive eco-system for their development remains our focus. Not only through the newly declared policies for MSME and Food Processing Sectors, but also with the help of credit mobilisation to MSMEs, Government is assisting the entrepreneurs.”
MSME Secretary Arun Kumar Panda congratulated the State government for organizing the Odisha MSME International Trade Fair and taking steps for growth of MSMEs in the state. He assured to extend all cooperation for the growth of MSMEs of Odisha through cluster funding, ZED, GeM and Digital Marketing. He stated that we need to increase finance in MSME sector for producing more job givers than job seekers.
The theme of this trade fair is “Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Startups”, said Additional Chief Secretary of MSME Department, LN Gupta. The Startup Odisha Initiative acquired the momentum with the launch of Startup Odisha Portal (www.startupodisha.gov.in) by the Hon’ble C.M in May, 2017. In the journey of last 20 months, 350 startups working across the sectors are registered under the Startup Odisha Initiative.
So far 61 financial assistances have been extended under the Startup Odisha Policy. 11 Incubators and 12 Nodal Agencies are working to assist the startups besides a network of 110 mentors, he added.
“Recently, DIPP, Govt. of India has recognised Odisha as “Top Performer” in the States Startup Ranking-2018 for developing a strong start up ecosystem. With addition of 20 startups per month, we are on our way to achieve the government’s mission of 1000 Startups by the end of 2020. Govt. is committed to promote innovation and startups throughout the State,” said Gupta.
Further, Sudhir Garg, Joint Secretary of MSME, Government of India and Chairman-cum-Managing Director of National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) informed that MSME are the backbone of the economy. NSIC is constantly making efforts to boost the MSME sector in the State and is helping in MSME credit facilitation, marketing support to MSMEs. Besides, NSIC is also providing raw materials and technology support to the MSMEs of the State. He also encouraged the MSMEs to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the State in this platform.