COVID 19 has visibly crippled the global trade and commerce channels however it has simultaneously also opened up many opportunities and taught the world to survive through local procurement channels. As it was well citied by our Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi in his address while launching the concept of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat that when the Corona crisis started there was not a single PPE kit made in India. The N-95 masks were produced in small quantity in India. Today the country is in a situation to produce 2 lakh PPE and 2 lakh N-95 masks daily. This is because India turned this crisis into an opportunity. He had further emphasized that the definition of self-reliance has undergone a change in the globalized world and clarified that when India talks about self-reliance, it is different from being self-centered. Considering that the MSMEs and Start-Ups need to understand and work towards accomplishing this vision World Trade Center Bhubaneswar in association with Start –up Odisha and Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India organized a webinar on “Aatma Nirbhar Bharat- Sculpting a self-reliant India”. A panel discussion was put together and moderated by CMA Shiba Prasad Padhi, Practicing Cost Accountant to discuss the concept and the support mechanisms being framed to accomplish this vision.
While setting the tone Mr. Padhi introduced the panelists to the attendees and highlighted that the objective of the discussion is to introduce the essence of the concept of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan and understand the nitty-gritty of the 20.97 crore package announced by the Hon’ble Finance Minister, Government of India. “The panel discussion would deliberate on the essential elements of this vision and also help the attendees to learn about the post announcement developments which are going on” said Mr. Padhi
Dr. Sunil Sukla, Director General, Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Ahmedabad in his key note address stated that “Aatma Nirbhar Bharat is not just a slogan rather it is a vision which is getting reflected in the action plan of the government and is also being endorsed through the series of presentations and interactions made by the Honorable Finance Minister to unleash a variety of policies, schemes & packages in order to support the MSMEs enabling the nation to become aatma nirbhar.” “Entrepreneurship is an unparalleled instrument to become aatma nirbhar” said Mr. Sukla. While deliberating that the last five years of entrepreneurial framework conditions in India has witnessed visible improvement he pointed out that the government has been focusing on making the people entrepreneurial. While highlighting the reduced gap between the men and women owned businesses Mr. Sukla insisted on developing management skills in entrepreneurs. “Enterprises are built based on technical knowledge of the entrepreneur but they collapse because of the lack of management skills” said Mr. Sukla. He also shared that the entrepreneurial age bracket in the country has been highly positive ranging between 18 to 25 years thus growing opportunity based enterprises and developing a positive eco-system will pave the way for a self-reliant India he concluded.
Prof. (Dr.) Satya Narayan Misra (Retd. IES), Dean, KIIT School of Management highlighted the allocation made to MNREGS. He highlighted that about 65 crore was allocated under the MNREGS in the annual budget and now another fresh allocation has been made amounting to 40 crores. Prof. Misra spoke about utilization of these funds in creation of sustainable assets. He also detailed on how the rural economy is going to be affected through the spending to be done out of these funds. He emphasized on the assistance being made available to the unskilled workers. He opined that the scheme should also benefit to all the skilled, rural & urban workers.
CA A.K. Sabat, Partner, A.K. Sabat & Co in his address lauded the Government of India for starting with a very good note in the month of September to reduce the tax rates to 22% before the pandemic could hit India and maximum tax rate becoming 25%. While highlighting that the corporate tax rates for those companies which will register in the country from first October will fall under a tax rate of 15% plus the surcharge which came to about 17% he deliberated that this tax rate would definitely invite investments into India and is a very good beginning in the corporate sector making India globally competitive. He further shared the details of the 20 lakh crore package where in 8 lakh is channelized through RBI, more than 3 lakh crore is allocated to the MSME by changing their definition covering more number of firms, 90 crore to the discom sector and also to the State Governments. He highlighted the migrant laborers issue as the biggest challenge for the State Governments. He welcomed the structural reforms by the government such as opening up of coal mines to the private players, mineral sector, defense sector, civil aviation through PPP, public sector reforms boosting private sector investments. Announcements to get implemented and get impact will take time he affirmed. He also shared insights on the impact of the packages announced on various key sectors of the nation and advocated the need for taking extra ordinary steps which shall provide immediate relief to the trade & commerce of the nation.
Dr. Kamlesh Mishra, Academician, Entrepreneur & President of Sea Food Exporters Association of India, Odisha Region in his address expressed his view points from an entrepreneur’s point of view. Speaking about the current market scenario he emphasized on the importance of developing a vibrant market. He also spoke about the current market scenario and the impact of COVID 19 on the market trends. He thus emphasized that this is the time that the entrepreneurial spirit needs to be lifted and opined that the society needs to develop a mindset which respects and dignifies any entrepreneur irrespective of his business turnover records. He deliberated that the vision of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat to materialize needs to develop a holistically positive ecosystem for the entrepreneurial culture to develop.
Mr. Subrata Kumar Biswal, Regional In-charge in his welcome address introduced the topic referring to the concept of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat and the economic package announced in lieu of it. In his address he deliberated that this initiative shall act as a catalyst to bridge the gap between the local and the global markets. While welcoming the speakers and attendees to the webinar he emphasized that given the relevance of the subject during this challenging time the attendees should try and gain the best insights about this initiative from the expert panel members and enable themselves to become a part of this vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi and take benefit from the economic package.
Mrs. Nimeshika Natarajan, Assistant Director, World Trade Center Bhubaneswar proposed the vote of thanks.