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Outstanding credit in Bengal grows over three times: Minister

Outstanding credit in seven years in West Bengal has grown by more than three times to over Rs 4.18 lakh crore, Finance Minister Amit Mitra said on Tuesday.

“The outstanding credit, as on March 31, 2010, was around Rs 1.63 lakh crore in Bengal. The same has grown by more than three times to more than Rs 4.18 lakh crore by March 31, 2017,” he said.

Describing the banks’ credit flow as an indicator to industrial growth, he said the commercial banks’ total lendings to state industries was around Rs 1.82 lakh crore during 2011-12 to 2016-17 fiscals.

“Of this, about Rs 94,153 crore was lent to micro and small units while medium industries got Rs 36,672 crore from banks during these years. Around Rs 51,200 crore was lent to large industries by the banks. It gives the impression that small, medium and large industries are working in tandem in the state,” said Mitra, who also looks after the Industry, Commerce and Enterprises Department.

The Minister was addressing a programme organised by the Bharat Chamber of Commerce, Calcutta Chamber of Commerce, Credai Bengal, Howrah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Mitra said the bank lending to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) grew by more than double after the Mamata Banerjee government came to power in 2011.

He said the state would voice the interests of MSMEs in GST council meetings.

Criticising the Centre’s demonetisation move in November last, Mitra said: “It is obvious that many people lost their jobs due to demonetisation. The economic growth rate fell and potentially about Rs 4.5-5 lakh crore in Gross Domestic Product disappeared due to note ban which was executed without consulting anybody.”

Education Minister Partha Chatterjee, who was present at the event, urged industrialists to invest in West Bengal.

Criticising the timing of the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax, he said: “We did not oppose the GST. We oppose the way it was implemented forcibly. As a result of demonetisation and GST, the common people have suffered a lot.”