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NEW DELHI : Boosting the share of small businesses in the economy was a priority and scaling up exports and lowering costs were essential to their quick revival, union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday.

The minister said that the government has set a target of adding five crore more jobs in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector which now accounts for about 11 crore jobs and 30% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Also, raising the sector’s share in the country’s exports was very important, the minister for MSMEs and transport said at a webinar hosted by Walmart on training small firms to be part of the global supply chain. Gadkari said the goal was to scale up the contribution of MSMEs from 30% of GDP to 50% of GDP.

“For the quick revival of the MSME sector, we now need special focus on boosting exports and reducing overall costs. The MSME sector needs to adopt necessary practices too. Reduce power and logistics cost. That too is important," the minister said.

The minister urged the management of Walmart to guide and train the handicraft, khadi and village industries saying that it would give the online retailing platform more business opportunities while creating more jobs in the country. The retail giant has rolled out a scheme called ‘Walmart Vriddhi supplier development program’ ‘to train and mentor small businesses. It offers small firms the tools to adopt new technologies for business expansion, said an official statement from the company.

“The programme seeks to “empower 50,000 Indian MSMEs to ‘make in India’ for domestic and global supply chains," said the statement.

“Our mission is to encourage exports from MSMEs. Indian MSMEs must become part of global supply chain," said the minister. The minister also said that the liquidity shortage faced by small firms has been resolved to a great extent.

“Walmart Vriddhi opens up opportunities for MSMEs to sell into Walmart’s supply chains or the open marketplace, the statement from Walmart said quoting Judith McKenna, president and chief executive officer of Walmart International, the Indian business of Walmart Inc.

Walmart Vriddhi’s first all-digital e-institute will initially be open to MSMEs in Panipat, Sonipat, and Kundli, an area that is a hub of textile, steel and kitchenware production with a strong entrepreneurial heritage and a skilled workforce, said the statement. Eligible companies can access digital training through a mobile application in English and Hindi, it said.

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