Aero India Participation: Double Whammy for MSME

By PK Ghosh

Aero India, Aero India 2019

New Delhi. Indian participation in this year’s Aero India seems to be in doldrums rather a double whammy for the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as either their participation is going to incur high cost to them credit high participation fee or if they don’t take part in the airshow they are bound to lose their business and revenue.

This actually cuts a sorry figure of the authorities at the time when the Asia’s premier airshow Aero India is getting bigger and bigger year after year, and also the Government sources are claiming to make it a grand show. Additionally, the listing of a number of companies including Indian MSMEs numbered 15-20 under the red category sends a wrong signal to the other stakeholders too.

Notably, the names of the companies have been put in red following non-submission of their participation fees along with other formalities.

Also, it becomes a matter of grave concern for the reason that this issue comes to light at the time when the mega airshow is only a month away.

It may be noted here that the Government has been claiming time and again that it is taking all out efforts to facilitate the start-ups and the MSMEs in general and the industry in the area of defence and aerospace in particular, but according to sources, it is actually not on the ground specially in the backdrop of participation of these industry players in Aero India 2019, scheduled to be held from February 20-24.

The sources said the Government, more particularly the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and its affiliating agencies, this time seemed to be rigid and far from facilitating a conducive environment for the MSME to participate in the mega event.

Not only this, following the unavailability of any discount and high cost, the industry is either withdrawing names from the participation list or is compelled to reduce the proposed size of their stalls.

If it is true, the Government will find itself contradicting its own statement of facilitating the Indian industry, indigenous manufacturing, indigenisation and Make in India.

At this juncture when the General Elections are around the corner or say a few months away the Government of the day, instead of hurting, must take a concrete step to facilitate the industry especially the MSMEs to prosper and grow while taking part in Aero India 2019 thus contributing to the economic growth of the country.

This will also help increase the number of industry participation from 356 at present to at least a prestigious figure of half a thousand thus decreasing the numbers in red.