Role of Agencies Assisting Entrepreneurship: DICs, SSIs

The ‘District Industries Centre’ (DICs) programme was started by the central government in 1978 with the objective of providing a focal point for promoting small, tiny, cottage and village industries in a particular area and to make available to them all necessary services and facilities at one place. The finances for setting up DICs in a state are contributed equally by the particular state government and the central government. To facilitate the process of small enterprise development, DICs have been entrusted with most of the administrative and financial powers. For purpose of allotment of land, work sheds, raw materials etc., DICs functions under the ‘Directorate of Industries’. Each DIC is headed by a General Manager who is assisted by four functional managers and three project managers to look after the following activities :

Activities of District Industries Centre (DIC):

  1. Economic Investigation
  2. Plant and Machinery
  3. Research, education and training
  4. Raw materials
  5. Credit facilities
  6. Marketing assistance
  7. Cottage industries

Objectives of District Industries Centre (DIC):

The important objectives of DICs are as follow :

  1. Accelerate the overall efforts for industrialisation of the district.
  2. Rural industrialisation and development of rural industries and handicrafts.
  3. Attainment of economic equality in various regions of the district.
  4. Providing the benefit of the government schemes to the new entrepreneurs.
  5. Centralisation of procedures required to start a new industrial unit and minimisation- of the efforts and time required to obtain various permissions, licenses, registrations, subsidies etc.

Functions of District Industries Centre (DIC):

  1. Acts as the focal point of the industrialisation of the district.
  2. Prepares the industrial profile of the district with respect to :
  3. Statistics and information about existing industrial units in the district in the large, Medium, small as well as co-operative sectors.
  4. Opportunity guidance to entrepreneurs.
  5. Compilation of information about local sources of raw materials and their availability.
  6. Manpower assessment with respect to skilled, semi-skilled workers.
  7. Assessment of availability of infrastructure facilities like quality testing, research and development, transport, prototype development, warehouse etc.
  8. Organises entrepreneurship development training programs.
  9. Provides information about various government schemes, subsidies, grants and assistance available from the other corporations set up for promotion of industries.
  10. Gives SSI registration.
  11. Prepares techno-economic feasibility report.
  12. Advices the entrepreneurs on investments.
  13. Acts as a link between the entrepreneurs and the lead bank of the district.
  14. Implements government sponsored schemes for educated unemployed people like PMRY scheme, Jawahar Rojgar Yojana, etc.
  15. Helps entrepreneurs in obtaining licenses from the Electricity Board, Water Supply Board, No Objection Certificates etc.
  16. Assist the entrepreneur to procure imported machinery and raw materials.
  17. Organises marketing outlets in liaison with other government agencies.

Small – Scale Industries of India (SSIs)

An industrial undertaking is graded as small-scale industrial undertaking in which the investment in fixed assets in plant and machinery, whether held on ownership terms, on lease or on hire purchase, does not exceed R.s 10 million.

As the economy improved, the Government of India raised the investment limit and thus redefined the SSI sector. For example, in the year 1970, the investment limit in SSI was only 7.5 lakh which was raised to 10 lakh in 1975, 20 lakh in 1980, 35 lakh in 1885, 60 lakh in 1991 and 300 lakh in 1997. It was brought down to 100 lakh in 1999, which continues till date. Likewise, investment limit in ‘tiny industrial unit’ in the year 1977 was 1 lakh which has risen to 25 lakh.

A small-scale industrial unit/industry-related service or business enterprise, managed by one or more women entrepre­neurs in proprietary concerns, or in which she/they individually or jointly have a share capital of not less than 51 per cent has been treated by the government as a women’s enterprise. Women entrepreneurship enjoys special benefits from the government.

The small-scale industry sector has been India’s engine of growth and continues to be so in the new millennium. By the end of March 2000, the SSI sector accounted for nearly 40 per cent of gross value of output in the manufacturing sector and 35 per cent of total exports from the country. Through over 32 lakh units that exist, the sector provided employment to about 18 million people.

The office of the Development Commissioner (SSI) has till date conducted three censuses of registered SSI units. The first census was conducted in 1973-74 and found 2.58 lakh units regis­tered up to 30 November, 1973.

The reference year for this census was the calendar year 1972. During this census, only 1.4 lakh units were found working. The second census was conducted during 1989-91and was found that 9.87 lakh units were registered up to 31 March, 1988.

The reference year for this census was 1987-88. During this census, only 5.82 lakh units were found working. The Third All-India Census was conducted during 2002-03 and it was found that 22.62 units were registered up to 31 March, 2001. The reference year for this census was 2001-02. During this census, only 13.75 lakh units were found working.

It is significant to note that the entrepreneurial supply to India, as is apparent from the above statistics, has been sluggish. In a period of forty years since independence, the country could produce only six lakh successful entrepreneurs. It is only after India adopted the New Economic Reforms in 1991 that the supply of entrepreneurs gathered momentum.

Thus the speedy growth of entrepreneurship in the country may be attributed to mainly two conditions:

  1. Economic Reforms Policy, 1990, which liberalized the industrial policy by doing away with the compulsory cumbersome licensing system and making trade practices easier.
  2. Cumulative impact of urbanization and modernization processes in the country.

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