Status Check: Does Budget 2014 meet SME expectations captured in Firstbiz-Greyhound SME Survey?

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While many have cheered Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s seemingly big focus on the MSME sector with a Rs 10,000 capital fund for such companies, Greyhound Knowledge Group Chief Futurist, Founder & CEO Sanchit Vir Gogia does not see the Union Budget’s take on SMEs in quite such a positive light. He also believes that the Finance Minister’s comment that many Indian SMEs were run by members of the Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Castes (OBC) was a patronising comment.

Gogia explained, “While lot has been said about the MSME sector, one can see the focus revolving around a certain sections of the society, which is just plain wrong.”

However, unlike others, this decision again didn’t enthuse Gogia, who explained: “There has been no lack of funds in the past, but the main question here is how the government will ensure that these SMEs get funds at the right time. Last year during the UPA regime, money was allocated for textile clusters, but there’s no news where that funding has gone.” So, while announcements happen and funds may be allocated, availing these funds still remains a big challenge for SMEs, he added.

“Hopefully, this will not end up being just another committee.” “The Firstbiz-Greyhound Knowledge Group SME survey says 90 percent of SMEs are not fully aware of these funds. The committee should look at the aspects of how to channelize these funds to the right hands. The government should have an agenda that will drive the funds to the right people,” Gogia felt.

However, he is happy with the fact that this government has at least recognised that entrepreneurs exist in India. “Till now, the Budget never gave recognition to the entrepreneur community, but Jaitley did so, which is a good thing.”

In addition, Gogia also appreciated the Modi government’s move on the development of an entrepreneur-friendly legal bankruptcy framework for SMEs that will enable an easy exit.

You can download the Firstbiz – Greyhound Knowledge Group SME Survey here.

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