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NESSIA seeks additional funds for development of MSME sector in ASSAM

Guwahati, Dec 2 (KNN)  The North Eastern Small Scale Industries Association (NESSIA) has submitted a memorandum to the Finance Commission seeking additional funds for industrial development of the MSME sector of the state.

State President, NESSIA, Sailen Baruah submitted the memorandum during a recent meeting of the 14th Finance Commission under Chairmanship of Y V Reddy, with the  Industries and Trade Association, organized here under the initiative of the Finance (Economic Affairs) Department, Government of Assam.

Throwing light on the situation, Baruah said, “As on March 31, 2012, there have been 35,717 micro and small units providing employment to 1.91 lakh persons.   Further, there are as many as 626 medium and large industrial units in the state. 

“However, owing to inadequate working capital, improper law and order situation, poor market access, insufficient power and infrastructure, about 45 per cent of the MSE units and a sizable number of other units too have become sick,” he added. 

Significantly, as per the provisional data of the 5th Economic census there are 42.12 million enterprises in the country and while the 5 States – AP, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, UP and West Bengal together account for about 50 per cent of the total enterprises in the country. Assam accounts for only 2.19 per cent.

State Secretary, NESSIA, Kumud Ch. Medhi highlighted the need of transportation and connectivity, asking the Commission to provide a double railway track from New Jalpaiguri to Assam to avoid traffic congestion on the Siliguri - Guwahati sector.

As far as the status of power generation in the state is concerned, it is far from satisfactory, failing to meet the power requirements of the industry. 

“In 2011-12, power availability in the State of Assam was 5670 MU against energy requirement 6081 MU leaving a shortage of 411 MU.  It may be mentioned that per capita consumption for Assam is lower than the corresponding figure for the North Eastern States taken together (257.98 KWH). It will require great effort and investment to achieve the target of 11 KWH per capita consumption by 2020,” NESSIA said in a release.

Assam is in a much more disadvantageous position in respect of banking facilities too. The country has a total of 96,059 bank branches in 2011-12 of which only 1574 are located in Assam.  Moreover. micro and small sector enterprises have failed to get their actual requirement of working capital to run their industries.

In addition, unemployment is higher in Assam then the rest of the country. The total number of job seekers in the Live Register of Assam were 17,29,029 during 2011.

“The unemployment problem can somehow be minimized through new MSME enterprises in Assam and therefore sufficient funds need to be pumped for the development of the MSME sector here,” NESSIA said.