District Industries Centers (DICs) have emerged since 1978 as the model agency for development of small and village industries. It provides all the support services needed for development of SSI in the country.
The DICs were established with a view to provide integrated administrative framework at the district level with professionally qualified personnel in technology, marketing, credit, economic investigation, raw materials, so that DICs would be the ‘single window’ raw materials, through which all type of assistance would be channeled to the small-scale sector.
They are virtually acting as per the plans and programmes of both central as well as state government for the implementation of various promotional measures from grass root level to develop SSI in the country.
The DIC is an integrated institution at the district level which provides all type of services and facilities to the entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurs can get assistance from DIC for setting up and running an industry.
Up to1991, 422 DICs were in operation in the country, almost one for each district. These DICs have assisted more than 1.5 lakh units generating employment for more than 10.3 lakh persons. The four metropolitan cities Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi and Kolkata have been kept outside the preview of DICs.
Functions of DICs:
The DICs arte funded by the State concerned and the Centre jointly. The Government has provided substantial assistance to the DICs which can be spent by DICs on construction of an office building, expenditure on furniture, fixtures, equipment, vehicles and other recurring expenses.
With this basis facility, DICs in the district level undertakes various promotional measures with a view to bring all out development of SSI in the district. In starts from exploration of potential entrepreneurs to marketing the products produced by the SSIs.
The DICs provide and arrange a package of assistance and facilities for credit guidance, raw materials, training, marketing etc. including the necessary help to unemployed educated young entrepreneurs in general.
Thus it may be said that DIC extends promotional, technical, physical, financial, marketing and all other type of services, required for growth and development of SSI. The important functions of DIC are discussed as follow:
1. Identification of entrepreneurs:
DICs develop new entrepreneurs by conducting entrepreneurial motivation programmes throughout the district particularly under SEEUY scheme. DICs also take association of SIS’s and TCOs for conducting EDPs.
2. Provisional registration:
Entrepreneurs can get provisional registration with DICs which enable them to take all necessary steps to bring the unit into existence.
The entrepreneur can get assistance from term lending institutions only after getting provisional registration. The provisional registration is awarded for two years initially and can be renewed every year but only for two times.
3. Permanent registration:
When the entrepreneur completes all formalities required to commence the production like selection of site, power connection, installing machinery etc he can apply to DIC for permanent registration.
It is only after getting the permanent registration that the entrepreneur can apply for supply of raw materials on concessional rates. Permanent registration is essential to avail all types of benefits extended by the government from time to time.
4. Purchases of fixed assets:
The DICs recommend loan applications of the prospective entrepreneur to various concerned financial and developmental institutions e.g. NSIC, SISI etc. for the purchase of fixed assets. It also recommend to the commercial banks for meeting the working capital requirement of SSI to run day to day operations.
5. Clearances from various departments:
DIC takes the initiative to get clearances from various departments which is essential to start a unit. It even takes follow up measures to get speedy power connection.
6. Assistance to Village Artisans and Handicrafts:
In spite of inherent talent and ability village artisans are not better up because they lack financial strength to strive in the competitive market. DIC in support with different lead banks and nationalized banks extends financial support to those artisans.
7. Incentives and subsidies:
DIC helps SSI units and rural artisans to subsidies granted by government under various schemes. This boost up the moral as well as the financial capacity of the units to take further developmental activities.
The different types of subsidies are power subsidy, interest subsidy for engineers and subsidy under IRDP etc. from various institutions.
8. Interest free sales tax loan:
SIDCO provides interest free sales tax loan up to a maximum limit of 8% of the total fixed assets for SSI units set up in rural areas. But the sanction order for the same is to be issued by DIC.
The DIC recommends the case of SSI units to National Small Industries Corporation Limited for registration for Government purchase programme.
9. Assistance of import and export:
Government is providing various types of incentives for import and export of specific goods and services. These benefits can avail by any importer or exporter provided the same is routed through the concerned DIC.
Export and import license is also issued to the importer or exporter only on the basis of recommendation of DIC.
10. Fairs and exhibitions:
The DICs inspires and facilities the SSI units to participate in various fairs and exhibitions which are organized by the Government of India and other organizations to give publicity to industrial products.
DICs provide free space to SSIs for the display of their products and attitudes financial assistance for the purpose.
11. Training programmes:
DIC organizes training programs to rural entrepreneurs and also assists other institutions or organization imparting training to train the small entrepreneurs.
12. Self-employment for unemployed educated youth:
The DICs have launched a scheme to assist the educated unemployed youth by providing them facilities for self employment. The youth should be in the age group of 18 to 35 years with minimum qualification of Metric or Middle with I.T.I. in engineering or Technical Trade. Technocrats and women are given preference.