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Budget 2021: Why government should incentivise tech adoption for MSMEs

Time and again, industry experts have pressed on the importance of digital adoption by the MSMEs for better efficiency and competitiveness.

January 29, 2021 / 05:59 PM IST

One of the key learnings from the year 2020 was the importance of digitalisation and the need to speed up its adoption. As the COVID-19 pandemic led to unpredictable consequences and the strict lockdown measures gave a massive blow to India Inc., the importance of building tech-efficient enterprises was understood.

Even though many organisations, mainly start-ups and conglomerates, were able to jump on the digital bandwagon and innovate during the pandemic using advanced tech tools, a majority of MSMEs faced several challenges due to lack of technological adoption.

Technology has been one of the barriers to the sector’s growth for a long time now.Featue

Still, MSMEs are unable to reap the benefits of artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) due to several reasons such as cost associated with new technologies, knowledge about digital tools, understanding of RoI and lack of skilled workforce.

Although, many stakeholders and banks including Yes Bank are supporting the digitisation of MSMEs through programmes such as YES MSME, there is a long way to go.

To remove the aforesaid obstacles, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her Union Budget 2021-22 speech on February 1, will have to take cognizance of the status of tech adoption by MSMEs and announce incentives for small business owners who can invest in technology at affordable costs to streamline supply chain inefficiencies, innovate, reach out to newer markets, compete at a global platform, generate employment and look at various sources of funding.

Technology can empower MSMEs to scale and contribute even more to the country’s GDP. The finance minister should look at measures that offer cost-efficient tech tools, knowledge centres, robust tech service, etc., to MSMEs so that they can get the same level-playing field as their counterparts.

Furthermore, reforms with regards to tech tools to streamline taxation and compliance, build own e-commerce platform, ERP solutions, etc., already being offered by YES MSME, can help business owners gain higher market share. Beyond this, it will also help drive their personal growth.

The government, which is already backing the MSME sector through stimulus packages and schemes, will have to sharpen its focus on making them tech-enabled enterprises.

This is a partnered post.
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first published: Jan 28, 2021 05:47 pm
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