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Soon, a free helpline for entrepreneurs

business Updated: Jul 19, 2010 00:00 IST
Debobrat Ghose

Entrepreneurs of the country will soon be able to call up a national-level call-centre for information and to seek redress for their grievances.

The ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) has modeled the call-centre — Udyami Helpline — on the single-window concept. A single toll-free number will serve businessmen across the country. The government has sanctioned Rs 7.6 crore for the helpline in the XIth Plan.

"This call-centre is an innovative idea of the ministry to disseminate information, help and support a large number of entrepreneurs based in far-removed destinations. It’s ready to be launched soon and its staff members are undergoing skill-development training," Dinesh Rai, secretary, ministry of MSME, told Hindustan Times.

The initiative kicked-off in 2009, after the ministry appointed Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) as its turnkey consultants, who in turn invited bids for operating the call-centre.

"Caretel Infotech has been assigned the job of operating Udyami Helpline, whereas we’ve provided financial support and database, along with monitoring of the centre," Rai said.

"It's a good move of the ministry, as it'll help a large number of existing and new entrepreneurs throughout the country in getting information in office or at home. However, its uniqueness and efficacy can only be judged once the call-centre becomes functional," said Anil Bhardwaj, secretary general of the Federation of Indian Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME).

Located in the national capital region, the call-centre has prepared a database with details of various stakeholders, such as banks, financial institutions and other related agencies, in order to respond to queries and redress grievances of entrepreneurs.

"An appropriate interface will be established with each bank to ensure that the queries of MSMEs are satisfactorily replied and monitored till closure," said Rai.