Millennium Post

Bank lending in MSME sector on the rise

Bank lending in MSME sector on the rise

Kolkata: The Mamata Banerjee government has laid special emphasis on cluster development across the state, to ensure that there is smooth lending in the MSME sector by the banks.

"Bank loans in MSME clusters have been encouraging. So since we assumed office for the first time in 2011, we have laid special focus on development of clusters. At present we have 531 clusters in the state, up from 49 in 2011," a senior official of state MSME department said.

State Finance minister Amit Mitra, who also holds the MSME portfolio, had set a target of Rs 70,000 crore bank lending to MSME sector in the State Level Banker's Committee (SLBC) that he had chaired a few months ago. In the recent meeting of the sub-committee of SLBC, the department made an analysis of the bank loans to MSME.

"The institutional lending by banks picks up during the last quarter. We have already achieved 50 percent of the target and so we are confident of achieving the target," the official added.

It may be mentioned that in 2018-19, the MSME bank lending was to the tune of Rs 56,458 crore, which is the highest in the country. In 2017-18 the figure was Rs 44,049 crore, while in 2011-12 this amount was a meagre Rs 8,300 crore.

The MSME department, as part of its support to the clusters, arranges training for skill enhancement, supplies machines and other infrastructure through setting up of common facility centres and also creates infrastructure of marketing products manufactured by them.

There are over 63,215 MSME units in the clusters, while the number of persons involved in the clusters is 6,20,547, which make it evident that employment potential in this sector is huge.

Nadia and West Burdwan districts have the highest number of clusters in the state, standing at 81 and 72 respectively. The textiles and handloom based clusters are over 178 in number, followed by 58 clusters which are based on engineering and fabrication. The number of food based clusters is 36, while that of apparel and garment is over 27.

Some of the well known clusters in the state include the fan cluster at Bansdroni under the area of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, the zari cluster in Howrah, the textile cluster in Metiabruz, belle metal cluster in Bankura and Murshidabad, handloom cluster in Nadia and East Burdwan and furniture cluster in North Bengal to name a few.

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