The government on Friday admitted that small and tiny industries in the North Eastern region were facing hardships in getting credits as banks could not open branches in some areas.

Replying to questions in the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said: “We are fully aware of the problems in the North Eastern region...that is why a separate industry package has been given for the region.”

He, however, said efforts are being made to meet credit requirements of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), micro and other tiny industry even without having bank branches in some areas of the regions.

The Minister also informed the House that the task force, constituted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to look into the issues of small industries, has submitted the report and it was under consideration of the government.

Anant Geethe (Shiv Sena) said tiny industries like those making toys need help other than financial support. “India used to be number one in the toy-making but now China has taken over. What steps are being taken to address these issues?” he asked.

Mr. Mukherjee said the government has been taking several initiatives other than financial assistance to ensure that the SMEs and tiny industries do not suffer.

More In: Industry | Business