A parliamentary panel on Tuesday rapped NITI Aayog for having “nothing to show as performance” for the self-employment and talent utilisation (SETU) programme even after the passage of one year.
SETU was announced in the Budget for 2015-16 with a corpus of Rs 1,000 crore to be implemented by NITI Aayog. The scheme was positioned as a techno-financial, incubation and facilitation programme to support all aspects of start-up business and other self-employment activity, particularly in technology-driven areas.
In its report pertaining to the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) presented in Parliament today, the parliamentary standing committee on industry said: “The committee expresses its reservations over the fact that even after passage of one year, NITI Aayog has nothing to show as performance.”
It added that after a year, only partial guidelines have been framed and there is no specialised manpower to implement “this very important scheme”.
Seeking to know the total amount spent in 2015-16 out of the announced Rs 1,000 crore and how it was spent, the panel reiterated “its view that Budget announcements should be made only after thorough planning of details and finalising the milestones for implementation”.
Commenting on the issue of ease of doing business for MSMEs, the committee suggested that the Centre bring an MSMED Act, if it could, “to develop and regulate the MSME sector in the country”.
“…it may well take legislative initiative to facilitate ease of doing business among MSMEs despite being a state subject, by amending the MSMED Act for making necessary standard provisions,” it added.
It recalled that “on an earlier occasion, the ministry had made a detailed and forceful argument to convince that it had inalienable locus in the affairs regulating and development of small and cottage industries”.
The central government as the administrator of this Act cannot absolve itself mid-way and leave the onus on respective states, the panel said.
It recommended “that (the) ministry must comprehensively discuss the issue in the National MSME Board and prepare an actionable policy for implementation by the states within six months”. MSME Board and prepare an actionable policy for implementation by the states within six months”.