New Delhi: Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said that the economy is witnessing a phase of consolidation after a series of structural reforms over the last two years. The consolidation will be led by the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector, he said in New Delhi while addressing the keynote at the launch of CriSidEx, a sentiment index for micro and small enterprises (MSEs) developed jointly by CRISIL and SIDBI.
“Issues of concern for this sector regularly come to the notice of the policymakers itself and I see great value in this index as the series of data and sentiments it’ll show, “ Jaitley said.
CriSidEx is a composite index based on a diffusion index of 8 parameters, and measures MSE business sentiment on a scale of 0 (extremely negative) to 200 (extremely positive).
The first report based on the index was launched on today. It captured qualitative responses of 1,100 MSEs, out of which 550 were manufacturing units and the other 550 services units.
The first reading of CriSidEx stood at 107, indicating mildly positive sentiment during October-December during which the survey was conducted. It also captured the sentiment for the next quarter (January-March 2018), the report said.
“The next quarter sentiment is expected to be more positive. It will factor in the incentives to the MSME sector in the budget ," Ashu Suyash, managing director & CEO, CRISIL Ltd.
The report said, the sentiment was more positive in manufacturing, with more than half of the MSEs expecting faster growth in orders and improved capacity utilisation in January- March compared with less than a third in October-December.
MSMEs secretary Arun Kumar Panda, Rajiv Kumar, secretary in the department of financial services and Subhash Chandra Garg, secretary, department of economic affairs were also present at the event.
The Union Budget 2018 on Thursday extended sops to MSMEs, as part of the government’s efforts to bring businesses under the formal economy’s fold.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley proposed to cut the corporate tax rate to 25% for companies with annual revenue of up to Rs250 crore. The budget also earmarked Rs3 trillion for 2018-19 under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana or Mudra scheme.
In addition, Jaitley allocated Rs3,794 crore for credit support, capital and interest subsidy to MSMEs.