SIDBI To Boost J&K MSMEs With Cluster Infra Development Fund
The Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has entered into an agreement with the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to implement the SIDBI Cluster Development Fund (SCDF), aimed at accelerating infrastructure development for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the region. The partnership will facilitate the modernization, upgrading, and establishment of infrastructure, fostering the growth of MSME clusters in the union territory.
SIDBI introduced the SCDF scheme in August 2021 with the backing of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), focusing on addressing hard infrastructure needs within clusters. The scheme offers affordable loans to state governments, supporting the enhancement of existing MSME clusters and the creation of new industrial infrastructure across states.
Sivasubramanian Ramann, Chairman and Managing Director of SIDBI, emphasized the commitment to building a robust MSME ecosystem in Jammu and Kashmir. The collaboration aims to bridge infrastructure gaps, with SIDBI working alongside state governments and union territories to transform both hard and soft infrastructure, fostering a culture of enterprise development.
Various Developmental Projects To Be Supported
In J&K, the SCDF initiative will play a pivotal role in providing low-cost, long-term funds to comprehensively cover cluster development projects falling into three main categories. These include projects in the industrial and agri-allied sectors within the MSME domain, initiatives in the social sector around MSME clusters, and efforts to enhance connectivity to MSME clusters.
While SIDBI facilitates the availability of SCDF to support the development of greenfield and brownfield clusters, the finance department of the Union Territory of J&K will serve as the nodal agency. It will coordinate and submit proposals for consideration under SCDF, ensuring a streamlined and collaborative approach.
Santosh D Vaidya, IAS, Principal Secretary to the Government, Finance Department, Jammu & Kashmir, expressed optimism about the partnership, anticipating innovative infrastructure improvements and overall growth in the entrepreneurship ecosystem. The collaboration aims to establish processes and systems with SIDBI's support to effectively utilize SCDF, involving key departments such as Industries and Commerce, Tourism, Power, and Skill Development in supporting MSMEs.
STEM Program for Students
The principal financial lending institution for MSMEs has also joined hands with Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Jammu to launch a one-year Skill to Enterprise Module (STEM) program for the students of J&K and Ladakh. Selected students will be trained over a period of one year free of cost. The program has been divided into two batches beginning on Dec 4 and Dec 19 respectively at the Srinagar and Jammu campuses of the institute.
Earlier, SIDBI, in collaboration with Jocata, a financial advisory and technology firm, had introduced an MSME Economic Activity Index called 'Sumpoorn', with an aim to provide a more comprehensive understanding of changes in MSME sales activity. The index, based on consent-led and anonymized monthly sales data from over 50,000 MSMEs seeking credit, will utilize official GSTN returns from October 2019 to the present, deviating from traditional survey-based methods.
The collaborative initiative between SIDBI and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir marks a significant stride towards fostering the growth of MSMEs in the region. The implementation of the SIDBI Cluster Development Fund (SCDF) reflects a dedicated effort to address hard infrastructure needs within MSME clusters, supporting modernization and establishment projects. These efforts signal a positive trajectory for MSME development in Jammu and Kashmir, contributing to the broader economic prosperity of the region.