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SIDBI offers Rs.5,000 crore to State

N.J. Nair

Bank chief says no viable business proposal has come up from the State

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) is keen on catalysing the industrialisation drive in the State. The financial institution is willing to lend liberally to small and medium enterprises and equip them to meet global challenges with technological support.

K.M. Nair, Chief General Manager, South Zone, SIDBI, who was here on Saturday, told The Hindu that the bank was ready to lend Rs.5,000 crore to imaginative manufacturing ventures in the State.

While Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh were vying with one another to corner maximum assistance for industrial development, no viable business proposals had come up from the State.

He said there had been no takers for a scheme to provide loans up to Rs. 50 lakh to micro enterprises without collateral security.

“The bank has already given Rs. 6,000 crore to the three southern States. We are ready to give thrice the sum to the entrepreneurs in the State. The bank is on an expansion mode, setting up 35 new branches all over the country. We are ready to open branches in all districts to support industrial clusters,” he said.

Economic activity is the key to social development and prosperity. The thrust should be on setting up manufacturing units.

The entrepreneurs in the State should come up with resourceful propositions to set up manufacturing industries which will generate more income and propel economic growth.

Despite claims by successive governments of having accelerated industrial growth in the State, they have not succeeded in getting potential investors to come here. While major companies, including multinationals, are making a beeline for other southern States, they are reluctant to commit their money in Kerala. They still have apprehensions about the larger industrial environment prevailing in the State.

“The single-window clearance system adopted by the government has not yet been able to prove to them that it is worth. They detest the procedural wrangles in securing clearances,” he said.

At present, SIDBI only has a marginal presence in the State. Out of the Rs. 800 crore it has advanced in the State, almost 50 per cent has been given to banks for bill discounting.

He said young technocrats could avail themselves of the services of the bank’s technology bureau to acquire latest technology and the credit-guarantee facility to take loans without hassles for starting ventures.

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