It’s a known fact that when people of common interests come together, they bring synergistic results. It’s no different for starting or growing a business enterprise. The state government recognizes this and has started the Maharashtra State Industrial Cluster Development Program (MSICDP) to encourage development of enterprises in small groups or clusters.
MSICDP runs under the authority of the Directorate of Industries which is based in Mumbai, and which comes under the Government of Maharashtra, Industry, Energy & Labour Department. The Directorate of Industries guides the District Industries Centers in every district to implement the Program.
The primary objective of the Program is to enhance the productivity and competitiveness of small and micro enterprises and to empower them by providing common infrastructure and facilities.
For this the Directorate of industries promotes development of business clusters. A cluster denotes a group of enterprises located within an identifiable and as far as practicable contiguous area, and producing same/similar products/services. An appropriate cluster is identified by the District Industries Center by creating a report enunciating the common salient features of a group of enterprises.
Eligibility to join the Program –
- Minimum 10 Micro, Small working units in the same or similar sector located within an identifiable and as far as practicable, contiguous area
- Existing clusters in Zone ‘D’, ‘D+’, ‘No Industry District’ & ‘Naxalite Affected Area’ as per PSI-2013.
Two tier activities under the MSICDP to develop clusters are –
- Capacity building (Soft Intervention) : This involves activities like field trips to successful enterprises, introduction to new technology, participation in exhibition etc so as to encourage interaction, exchange and camaraderie among members of the cluster. The basis of the intervention is the Diagnostic Study Report (DSR) submitted after studying the current situation in the cluster regarding productivity, technology status etc. The report pinpoints the present lacuna and forms the basis for determining the plan of action to increase productivity and competitiveness.
- Setting up of Common Facility Center (Hard Intervention) : This involves actual setting up of necessary infrastructure to be used by the enterprises in the cluster. Enterprises need several facilities for the smooth running of business as well as to make them more efficient and competitive. These facilities may be quality testing labs, training centers, packaging centers, R & D center, design center, logistics facility, raw material storage facility and many more.
A Detailed Project Report (DPR) must state that the CFC is appropriate and feasible for a given cluster.
The project under consideration is approved by district and state level committees which appraise the project as per guidelines. Once the CFC is set up, its operations, administration and maintenance are managed by what is called a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)! We will talk about it soon, in our next communication.