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Wednesday, Feb 04, 2004

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SMEs welcome hike in bank credit limit

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Feb. 3

THE Finance Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh's steps to encourage the development of small and self-employed ventures by providing easier access to bank credit has been welcomed by the small and medium industry.

Welcoming a host of proposals made in the Budget including hiking the credit limit, the Federation of Associations of Small Industries of India (FASI), has said that the concessions particularly on the excise front given to new industrial units in Kutch "deserve praise."

The Finance Minister on Tuesday announced that public sector banks would increase the credit limit of their Laghu Udyami credit cards to Rs 10 lakhs.

Mr Singh added that banks were being advised to make the modified scheme operational from March 1, this year.

The Minister said that the public sector banks would increase the credit limit of their cards, for borrowers who have a satisfactory track record.

The FASI statement adds that it is heartening to note that the SME Fund will be operational shortly to provide credit at competitive rates.

Similarly, the Convenor of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) committee of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Mr A.K. Kaul, while welcoming the announcement, felt that there was need to have a mechanism to ensure that the announcement is implemented at the grass root level.

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