“Punjab is home to 2.59 lakh MSMEs that employ a total of 20.29 lakh employees. The onset of COVID has exposed vulnerabilities that hamper the operations of MSMEs, and a concerted effort to support them is required,” GAME said in a release.
GAME is an alliance of organizations committed to creating an entrepreneurial movement in India that results in 10 million new entrepreneurs, half of them women, who will create 50 million livelihoods by 2030.
The two-year project aims to make Punjab a leading state in India in terms of ease of doing business (EODB) for MSMEs by driving simplification, digitization, and decriminalization of compliances, the release said.
“At the end of the two-year period, the coalition hopes to see a rise in formal registration of businesses, and a significant reduction in the cost of compliance for MSMEs,” Punjab Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan said.
K P Krishnan, former secretary of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and chairperson of GAME EODB taskforce, said lack of EODB is a major reason why ‘dwarfism’ is pervasive among India’s MSMEs.
With over 60 million enterprises and 110 million jobs, the average MSME creates less than 2 jobs in the country.
“We feel the onerous compliance burden and complex regulatory environment has a huge part to play in reducing productivity, increasing costs, and encouraging informality. By demonstrating Punjab as a lighthouse, we hope to showcase the potential of EODB to initiate a virtuous cycle of formal entrepreneurship, productivity improvement, and job creation,” he said.
The project will be led by Krishnan, and will be primarily supported by Omidyar Network India.
It will include experts from GAME, the Centre for Civil Society, and Avantis Reg Tech. The group will work closely with Punjab government under the leadership of Mahajan and Alok Shekhar, Principal Secretary Industries and Commerce, Government of Punjab, the release added.