In an attempt to revive the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector in Kottayam, the District Industries Centre is on a drive to promote entrepreneurship at the grassroots level.

Credit flow to the sector came under scrutiny when credit targets achieved under the non-farm sector stood at 47 per cent and 44 per cent in 2010-11 and 2011-12 respectively, said Ramesh Bhaskar, General Manager, DIC. “In terms of volume, the credit to the sector translated to just about Rs. 120 crore each year on an average and was a matter of serious concern,” he said. The picture had appeared gloomy when only 10 per cent of the credit plan of Rs. 340 crore earmarked for the fiscal year was disbursed until November 2012.

This led to the idea of organising investors’ meets to attract prospective entrepreneurs with viable and bankable projects and also to facilitate interactions with the banking sector. It was also decided to focus on the block and taluk levels. The efforts achieved positive results as the three months since November 2012 led to the identification of 154 projects with an investment potential of Rs. 82 crore. Around 140 projects involving investments of upto Rs. 8 crore have also been forwarded to banks under the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP).