Dinsha J. Patel, Union Minister for Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises, on Friday said that plans were on to expand the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) in the State to generate employment for the youth in rural and urban areas by establishing micro enterprises.

The Minister, who was returning to New Delhi after his visit to the State, said steps would be taken to ensure the supply of white and brown coir fibre to industrial units and problems faced by the coir sector would be sorted out.

The Micro, Small, Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector in the country is all set to stage a smart recovery from the economic slowdown by this year itself and will grow by at least 15 per cent thereafter, said Mr. Patel.

He said that the ministry intended to implement the recommendations of the task force on MSME within a period of six months to tide over the impacts of recession. The recovery process has reached the halfway mark by the time and the rest will be covered by implementing these recommendations.

“The recession had a significant impact on the total exports of the MSME segment and almost five lakh people employed in the sector had lost their jobs during this period. But with the recovery process on, we were able to engage nearly half of these labourers back to the sector,” said the minister.

He also emphasized on the need for increasing the flow of bank credit to the sector from the current 45 per cent to 60 per cent adding that the Rs. 5,500 crore sought from the Finance Ministry would be sufficient to tackle the overall slump in the segment. He added that his ministry was in consultation with the other ministries including the heavy industries, finance and the trade and commerce to implement the proposals in a speedy manner.

Mr. Patel also elaborated on the loan of $150 million from the Asian Development Bank that will be released in four tranches over a span of three years to revive the khadi sector in the country.

Further, a financial assistance of Rs.1.19 crore per State will be provided for the khadi units to improve technology.

According to him, “more money will given to develop new production designs, business models that will, in turn, lead to a reduction in the total costs apart from supplying state of the art machineries to the production unit.”

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