Credit and Finance for MSMEs: The year-on-year growth in deployment of gross bank credit to micro and small enterprises (MSEs) during January 2022 remained positive at 4.8 per cent, though down from 6.8 per cent during the year-ago period, latest data on sectoral deployment of bank credit by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showed. Banks deployed Rs 12.44 lakh crore to MSEs in January 2022, up from Rs 11.87 lakh crore in January 2021. The growth had come amid the third wave of the pandemic, indicating negligible impact on businesses.
Bank credit growth to MSEs had turned positive in December 2021 after being in red for three straight months. YoY growth in December stood at 9.1 per cent to Rs 12.53 lakh crore from Rs 11.48 lakh crore deployed during the year-ago period in comparison to minus 2.2 per cent, minus 0.5 per cent, and minus 2.6 per cent YoY growth during September, October, and November respectively last year.
Medium enterprises also reported a 42.1 per cent YoY growth in credit during January in comparison to 50.4 per cent growth in December. Banks had deployed Rs 2.75 lakh crore to medium businesses in January vis-a-vis Rs 1.93 lakh crore in January 2021 and Rs 2.76 lakh crore in December 2021. The highest YoY growth rate during the current financial year was recorded at 70.9 per cent in July.
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The total bank credit deployed to the overall MSME sector in January was Rs 15,19,495 crore – 13.11 per cent of India’s total gross bank credit of Rs 115.82 lakh crore in January, up from 13 per cent in December and 12.01 per cent in November.
Last month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had urged banks to be more customer-friendly with respect to supporting entrepreneurs such as small businesses and startups. “Our Prime Minister has said that I’m the security behind you, please take loans. That’s is where in Mudra and PM-SVANidhi schemes, he told banks that I’m the security behind them (entrepreneurs). The performance in terms of servicing (these) loans is very good,” Nirmala Sitharaman had said in her post-budget interaction with industry representatives in Mumbai.
The gap in MSME credit remained significant in the country even as the government had launched multiple schemes such as ECLGS, Standup India, Mudra loans, PM SVANidhi and more to help MSMEs secure bank credit. According to a report by the International Finance Corporation in November 2018, the addressable credit gap in the MSME sector was estimated at around Rs 25.8 lakh crore. The UK Sinha Committee in June 2019 had also noted the overall credit gap in the MSME sector to be Rs 20-25 lakh crore.
However, there was no official study undertaken by the central government to estimate the current credit gap in the MSME sector, MSME Minister Narayan Rane had said in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha last month. The credit gap was referred to as the difference between the total supply of credit from formal channels in the country vis-a-vis the addressable demand.