Open your purses to SME entrepreneurs: FM

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Bangalore, Jun 16: Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said Micro and Small Enterprises which contributed 40 per cent to country's exports, remained neglected and unnoticed by the lending institutions and bankers, should 'open their purses' to help the fast growing sector.

Speaking after releasing one lake Credit Guarantee Approval at a function organised by the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE), he said the sector was only second to agriculture and was growing at a 'furious pace.' However, a meagre 22 lakh of the MSE entrepreneurs were registered while 1.30 crore others remained untouched by the lending institutions.

''A large number of young men and women are no longer looking for jobs. They are willing to take risks, become entrepreneurs and create wealth.

''More importantly they are willing to create employment and share their wealth with their employees. Bankers should never ignore this class,'' he said.

Mr Chidambaram said radical change is being witnessed in the mindset of the Young India and the credit lending institutions should adapt to meet the demands of the rising young India.

''You (bankers) are too conservative to take risk. For every entrepreneur willing to take risk there must be a banker at the other side of the table willing to take risk,'' he said.

The Finance Minister said CGTMSE should strive to achieve a bigger number and cover 50,000 more MSE entrepreneurs by the year end.

The cap on loan size should go up to Rs five lakh from the present one lakh, he said.

Mr Chidambaram said CGTMSE had a corpus fund of Rs 1,584 crore of which Union Government had contributed Rs 1,257 crore.

''We are committed to increase this corpus to Rs 2,500 crore. As and when CGTMSE requires additional capital, we will give it immediately.

''But we should ensure timely credit to smallest of small entrepreneur,'' he added.

UNI

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