plant and machinery should not exceed Rs 1.5 crore. However, to facilitate technology upgradation and enhance competitiveness, the investment limit has been raised to Rs 5 crore in respect of 71 high tech export oriented items in drugs, pharmaceuticals, hand-tools and knitwear sectors, etc. Characteristics of Small-Scale Industries:
1. Ownership: Ownership of small scale unit is with one individual in sole- proprietorship or it can be with a few individuals in partnership.
2. Management and Control: A small-scale unit is normally a one man show and even in case of partnership the activities are mainly carried out by the active partner and the rest are generally sleeping partners. These units are managed in a personalized fashion. The owner is actively involved in all the decisions concerning business.
3. Area of Operation: The area of operation of small units is generally localised catering to the local or regional demand. The overall resources at the disposal of small scale units are limited and as a result of this, it is forced to confine its activities to the local level.
4. Technology: Small industries are fairly labour intensive with comparatively smaller capital investment than the larger units. Therefore, these units are more suited for economics where capital is scarce and there is abundant supply of labour.
5. Gestation Period: Gestation period is that period after which teething problems are over and return on investment starts. Gestation period of small scale unit is less as compared to large scale unit.
6. Flexibility: Small scale units as compared to large scale units are more change susceptible and highly reactive and responsive to socio-economic conditions. They are more flexible to adopt changes like new method of production, introduction of new products etc.
7. Resources: Small scale units use local or indigenous resources and as such can be located anywhere subject to the availability of these resources like labour and raw materials.
8. Dispersal of Units: Small scale units use local resources and can be dispersed over a wide territory. The development of small scale units in rural and backward areas promotes more balanced regional development and can prevent the influx of job seekers from rural areas to cities.