Bharat Craft – India's E-commerce Portal for MSMEs
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Ever since coming back into power, the ministers of NDA 2.0 have announced various strategic schemes and programmes to ensure the continuous progress of India. For pushing the economy ahead, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have emerged as one of the priority sectors for the Indian government. Union Minister for MSMEs, Nitin Gadkari recently laid out a roadmap for the sector.
Digital is the way ahead, Gadkari understands. Narendra Modi-led government has undertaken various steps to digitally empower the nation. How can the backbone of nation’s economy stay back? Months after announcing a possible e-commerce portal for Indian MSMEs, Gadkari has confirmed the launch of an Alibaba-like platform for Indian SMBs named Bharat Craft.
BharatCraft Coming Soon
The e-commerce portal will provide a platform for MSMEs to market and sell their products just like what Alibaba did in China. Two months after proposing the model, Gadkari has confirmed the launch of Bharatcraft portal. While speaking at 200th listing of an MSME company 'Wonder Fibromats' on NSE EMERGE, the Union Minister shared his plans.
“The Bharatcraft portal, which will be on the lines of Alibaba and Amazon, will provide a platform for MSMEs to market and sell their products and in turn boost the sector,” he said. Gadkari is optimistic about the project having the potential to bear around INR 10 lakh crore revenue in the next 2-3 years. According to unofficial estimates, there are 6 crore MSMEs in the country at present.
To encourage the small businesses for registering themselves as MSMEs, the government has launched 'Udyog Mitra'. 22.83 lakh MSMEs were registered on Udyog Aadhaar Portal in the country during March, 2018 to March 2019. Registered enterprises enjoy the benefits of subsidized taxes and lower interest rates on loans.
The sector, currently contributing nearly 29 per cent to the manufacturing segment, is targeted to increase the contribution to 50 per cent in the next five years by the government. MSMEs contribute 40 per cent to exports but Gadkari is assured has potential for more. The MSME sector has the potential to generate additional employment of 5 crore in the next five years.
Solving the Dilemma of Payments
MSMEs have been suffering from delayed payments for longer than ever. Not getting their due on time tires the small business owners and ultimately, become a core reason behind the demise of their enterprise. Gadkari recently laid out plan for getting rid of this “headache”.
“A committee has been set up to study this aspect and we expect a report in the next few days. The government is planning to enable legislation framework, which would help the MSME sector get their payments faster, within 45 days of the bill being due. Any further delay in payments would lead to legal implications,” the minister said.