Lack of reliable data about Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) is a major roadblock in the growth of the sector, according to a latest report. Time and again, experts have raised this issue, but unfortunately not much efforts have been put in this direction. There is no dearth of schemes for MSMEs, but without enough data about the sector itself, it is difficult to expect informed decision-making by our policy makers.
Last year, while replying to a question in the Upper House on loss of employment in the MSME sector during Covid-19, the MSME minister stated, “As MSMEs are present in both formal and informal sector, data regarding job loss is not maintained by the government of India in Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.” In such a situation, it is difficult to expect adequate and comprehensive policy measures for the sector.
As per the U.K. Sinha Expert Committee on MSMEs' report, there is a massive credit gap of Rs 20 lakh crore to Rs 25 lakh crore in the MSME sector. Also, experts often point out that due to lack of registration, a major portion of MSMEs cannot benefit from the plethora of schemes available for the sector. If we want to address these challenges, there is no way out but first to bring these firms now operating in the informal sector under official count.