Making a strong pitch for setting up manufacturing projects in Jammu and Kashmir, state's Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather has said J&K has a strong market as it imports goods and services worth Rs. 35,000 crore annually from others states.
"Jammu and Kashmir purchases goods and services worth Rs. 35,000 crore annually from other states, which provides evidence of existence of a strong market suited to the economic viability of manufacturing projects within the state," Rather said at the 52nd annual general meeting of the State Financial Corporation (SFC) here yesterday.
The Minister said the SFC to play its assigned role of lending to medium, small and micro Enterprises (MSME) and it's allied sectors of the state to accelerate its economic development.
Rather, who is also chairman of the SFC, said at national level, the MSME sector is playing a significant role in the economic development of the country as it contributes about eight per cent to GDP and 45 per cent output to manufacturing sector.
"However in J&K, the MSME sector has got derailed due to prolonged disturbance as most of the SFC financed units were closed after losing their financial viability," he said.
The minister said this sector needs a strong lending support by the banks and other financial institutions to exploit its Rs. 10,000 Crore untapped investment potential in the fields of tourism, power, horticulture, floriculture, handicrafts, Indian system of medicines and fisheries.
Rather lauded the efforts of the SFC in turning around the corporation within a period of four years.
"The net worth of the Corporation, which had sunk to Rs. 104.78 crore as on April 1, 2009, has turned positive to Rs. 1.39 crore as on April 1, 2013," he added.
During the last four years, the corporation has sanctioned loans to the tune of Rs. 66.69 crore and made disbursement of 49.93 crore, he said.
He said the fresh lending and improved recoveries have resulted into improving its standard portfolio from 10 per cent as on April 1, 2009 to 51 per cent as on April 1, 2013.
The financial support from the state government, the management settled liabilities of Rs. 173 crore out of a book debt of Rs. 180.40 crore, thus taking the corporation out of the debt trap, he said.