With an aim to encourage research and innovation in India, the MSME ministry plans to lease technology centres to engineering colleges, IITs, polytechnic colleges and industry associations. The announcement was made by MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesda during the MSME Finance Week. Gadkari said micro, small and medium enterprises are the backbone of the economy and there is a need to create employment using surplus resources. The MSME Finance Week was a virtual event organised by the Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship (GAME).

Under the MSME Ministry, the facilities of the technology centres allow designing and manufacture of sophisticated tools, parts, components and products in conformity with international standards. Reports inform that the latest hardware and software available at these centres ensures professional design and 3D solid modelling. The production facilities at the technology centres offer an array of cutting edge production services to MSMEs.

Moreover, these institutes provide technical services such as design of parts and components, materials testing, heat treatment, quality control, and technical consultancy related to the product & process improvement. The technology centres, apart from extending design, development & manufacturing support to MSMEs for complex tools, parts and components (many that serve as import substitutes), have also supported the strategic sectors such as aerospace, defence, atomic energy etc. of the country for their R&D requirements.

Gadkari observed that Rs 6,000 crore have been invested in technology centres until now. "Now we are planning to give these technology centres on a lease basis to engineering colleges, IITs, polytechnic colleges and industry associations with a good track record", he said. He added saying that a key reason for most MSMEs to turn into non-performing assets (NPAs) is delayed reconciliation of their receivables and bills that creates liquidity constraints hence affecting their sustainability.

While delivering the keynote address at the event, Gadkari said at present, there is an import of Rs 8 lakh crore crude oil in the country. “Instead, we can build Rs 2 lakh crore ethanol economy by tapping into domestic resources. The gap between India and Bharat is still wide but with our motto of reform, perform and transform, we can definitely overcome the challenges,” he added.