TWO SEGMENTS | Micro & Pharma

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India can look at the Covid  pandemic period as an opportunity to correct and take bold decisions  in two segments.  One segment is in the industrial sector and the other segment is in the pharmaceutical sector. The first segment is of National importance and segment is of International importance.

Firstly, India should look into the segment of National importance. No government had given, so far, importance to “micro level” industrial segment. The growth of Micro industries had happened irrespective of the past governments and due to entrepreneurial acumen of individuals in India. The successive governments have, in the past, failed to appreciate the importance of Micro industries in India.

No government had given, so far, importance to “m It is necessary to define or redefine the Micro industries in India. A couple of decades ago there were only small and medium industries and the segment was called Small and Medium Enterprises (SME). Because of exponential growth of small industries in India in the past twenty five years, the classification was changed and the segment was renamed “MSME” which included Micro industries. The vast growth of Tiny industries had prompted the government to redefine MSMEs..

No government had given, so far, importance to “m It is necessary to define or redefine the Micro industries in India. A couple of decades ago there were only small and medium industries and the segment was called Small and Medium Enterprises (SME). Because of exponential growth of small industries in India in the past twenty five years, the classification was changed and the segment was renamed “MSME” which included Micro industries. The vast growth of Tiny industries had prompted the government to redefine MSMEs..

According to governments’ estimate (both State and Central)   India boasts of  2.2 crores Micro industries employing 8.5 crores work-force and feeding an approximate population of 30.0 crores, which is 25% of the country’s entire population. These figures should lead the champions of Micro industries to conclude the following:

  • Micro industries should be de-linked from Small and Medium industries
  • Micro industries may be redefined as having an investment limit of 25 lakhs , for both manufacturing and service sectors, or an annual business of 2.5 crores (BGST) and employing not more than 40 work-force
  • A separate Ministry to be initiated for Micro industries at State and National level
  • Representation to registered Micro industries associations in the governing council of the State which will define the roles, rules and the regulations of the Micro industries in the State
  • A National body of Micro industries to be set-up which will have  representatives from registered Micro industries associations  from each State.
  • A National disaster fund to be created exclusively for Micro industries Entrepreneurs & Employees. The contribution may be something like 1% of Turn Over from Industry side and contribution from the Government.
  • India’s GDP stood at 2.72 Lakh Crore USD [2018] and the contribution from MSME is 50%.. The Budgetary allocation is just 12000 Crores which is 0.06%. This is MSME. India needs at least 1% GDP budgetary allocation for MSME out of which 0.50% for Micro segment. This is the only way succeed in Make in India & Start Up India initiatives.
  • The allocation to be spent towards Infrastructure as well as venture capital funding.
  • With start up process made easy under the present Government and procedures simplified, it is just few more steps to bring all Micro Industries under registration bracket.
  • With 1% of GDP as budgetory allocation and simplified procedures to bring all Micro Industries under registration bracket, the growth and employment will increase/

The second segment is of International importance. We are aware of several medical disciplines

  • 01. Ayurveda  
  • 02. Siddha  
  • 03.  Allopathy 
  • 04. Unani 
  • 05.  Yoga (Pranayama and other postures)
  • 06.  Homoeopathy  07.  Chinese Medicine

Of all these disciplines, Allopathy was very recent and not more than 300 years old. Ayurveda, on the other hand was very old and according to scriptures, in India,  as old as 5000 years. In Ayurveda and Siddha disciplines, which originated in India, the medicines and procedures were well laid and even the dosage prescriptions were documented till 4200 KY (Kali Yuga). Due to Moghul and subsequent British invasion, these documents were either destroyed or lost or stolen by the invaders.

The country was able to recover and restore few documents. Because of the then Bharath custom, the details of medicines, herbs and the procedures were passed on through generations by words of mouth [Guru – Sishya Prampara] and adapted skillfully and successfully even now.

Over the past six decades, it was seen, that the Ayurveda and Siddha medicines could cure diseases and conditions of the patients with least side effects as against Allopathi medicines which could only contain the diseases and conditions, that too with side effects. The Indian government should seize this opportunity given by COVID, to propagate the advantages of Ayurveda and Siddha to the entire world  

The government could also do the following:

  • De-link Ayurveda and Siddha from the rest of the AYUSH family
  • Establish Ayurveda & Siddha research centers in every State
  • Utilise the farmlands and educate the farmers to establish herbal farms and complete the supply chain to the manufacturers and research establishments of Ayurveda and Siddha medicines
  • Establish a separate export office for exporters of Ayurveda and Siddha medicines (and herbs) and , if possible, start SEZ clusters for Ayurveda and Siddha production units
  • Introduce Ayurveda ( 1 Semester ) and Siddha ( 1 Semester ) in all medical colleges
  • Introduce degree courses of multi-disciplines of Ayurveda, Siddha and Allopathy to effectively complement each other  
  • Promote associations for Ayurveda-Siddha  medical practitioners and manufacturers to effectively propagate the discipline
  • Incentives may be given to start Ayurveda-Siddha medical colleges to conduct diploma (Six Semesters) and degree ( 10 Semesters ) courses
  •  The government can promote International Conferences in other countries to propagate Ayurveda & Siddha  disciplines
  • India should hold the authority on international patenting of Ayurveda & Siddha medicines, formulations, drugs, procedures and practices

The present central government is in a position to take bold steps in these two segments, because the country has a strong leader today.

Now is the time to take bold & right steps and we have the right leadership to do it. Let us not miss the opportunity.

[The writer is a Former ISRO Scientist, Former Chairman, Indian Institute of Chemical Engineers & Founder President, Tamil Nadu Small and Medium Industries Mutual Association. The writer can be reached at [email protected]]

4 thoughts on “TWO SEGMENTS | Micro & Pharma

  1. Nice article. Especially allocation of 1% of GDP to MSME and 50% out of it Micro is a good idea. Need of the hour is delink Micro sector. Need to have a seperate refinancing bank like SIDBI for Micro Industries. Good idea to have a seperate Ministry for Micro Industry.

  2. From the beginning when SIDBI Charter was prepared in IDBI, we have been telling the Govt that issues pertainig to tiny and micro industries are totally different from small and medium industries. However tiny sector has totally been forgotten and merged with micro industries. We need to continue to impress upon the Govt to establish a separate Bank known as Tiny and Micro Industries Development Bank of India as existing commercial Banks and SIDBI are not interested in promoting and funding tiny and micro sector. In TANSTIA, the last ‘T’stands for Tiny but where is the separate policy for this sector which accounrs for over 5o%of MSMEs. Only this sector with project cost or annual turnover (not only plant and machinery)(Rs 10lakhs for tiny sectir and above Rs 10 lakhs up to Rs 25 lakhs) can generate maximum employment, create entrepreneurial opportunities, remove regional imbalances and result in USD 5 trillion economy by 2025.We had a Composite Lian Scheme in IDBI operated through Banks and SFCs with total credit limit both term loan and working capital per unit at Rs 50000 in 1980s and it was a grand success and boon to artisans, village and cottage industries.Small Finance Banks should be converted into Tiny and Micro Enterprises Development Banks with an Apex Bank for this sector in Tamil Nadu. We need to convene a meeting of experts to discuss this important issue

  3. With regards to Ayurvedic medicines, there is no doubt about its importance and its place in Medical treatment.
    But where Ayurveda loses ground is when scientific human trials are not conducted under athe agies of Central Government as being done now for Allopathic medicines. Case in example is Baba Ramdev who on his own claimed cure for COVID just by testing on a very few Citizens. Such acts bring bad name to age old Proven system of Medicine.
    Hence a proper Regulatory mechanism as in the case of Allopathy is vital…

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