Provision for Maha women industrial policy in next Budget: Govt

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Subhash DesaiThe Maharashtra government would make a provision for funds for the dedicated industrial policy for women it had announced last year in the next Budget, Industries Minister Subhash Desai on Monday told the Legislative Council.

Maharashtra last year became the first state to unveil such policy.

Under the policy, first-generation women entrepreneurs who set up micro, small or medium enterprises in the state would be entitled to a capital subsidy of up to Rs 1 crore, depending on location of the unit.

Desai (Shiv Sena) told the Upper House that 20 per cent land under the MIDC (Maharashtra Industrial Decelopment Corporation) has been kept reserved for women entrepreneurs.

“Maharashtra is the first state to have proposed a separate Industrial Policy for women. We have called for suggestions from women entrepreneurs to make the policy more effective,” said Desai.

He said all the suggestions would be studied and a suitable budgetary provision will be made in the next Budget because the policy was announced in the last month of 2017.

Desai was responding to a question raised by Sanjay Dutt (Congress) seeking to know the action taken by the state government on implementation of the policy and the exact allocation of funds for the purpose.

The policy was announced on December 5, 2017.

Under the policy, the women-run businesses would be offered special concessions for locating their units, and extended lower power tariffs, higher interest subsides, and grants for branding their products, among other incentives.

For existing women-run enterprises, the fresh perks would come in addition to those already offered under the universal package of incentives.

“The government aims to increase participation of women (in MSME sector) from the current 9 to 20 per cent. To achieve this, women entrepreneurs will be given capital grants, electricity grants and gains on the loan interest. Since the scheme was announced in (December) 2017, the budgetary allocation will be made in the next year’s budget,” he said.

Desai said while budget for industries is Rs 2,650 crore, enough allocation would be made under the industrial policy for women.

He said women need to be 100 per cent owners of their business to avail benefits under the policy.

“(Among other criteria), 50 per cent of the work force of the business should be women. Also, a financial assistance of Rs 50 lakh would be provided to (women entrepreneurs) for participating in foreign exhibitions,” Desai added.