PM launches Mudra Bank to help SMEs, regulate MFIs

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched the Mudra Bank in Mumbai, which will provide credit of up to Rs10 lakh to small entrepreneurs and act as a regulator for microfinance institutions (MFIs).

 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating  Pradhan Mantri MUDRA  Yojana, in New Delhi on 8 April 2015  

Big industrial houses provide jobs to only 1.25 crore people, while small entrepreneurs employ 12 crore people, Modi said after launching the Mudra Bank.

The roles envisaged for Mudra include laying down policy guidelines for micro enterprise financing business and registration of MFI entities as well as their accreditation and rating.

There are about 5.77 crore small business units.

He further said increasing employment is top priority of the government and MUDRA Bank aims to fund the unfunded small entrepreneurs. There is also a need to strengthen savings habit in the country, PM said.

It will also lay down "responsible financing practices" to ward off over indebtedness and ensure proper client protection principles and methods of recovery, besides development of standardised set of covenants governing last mile lending to micro enterprises.

"Providing access to institutional finance to such micro / small business units / enterprises will not only help in improving the quality of life of these entrepreneurs but also turn them into strong instruments of GDP growth and employment generation," the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

In his Budget speech, finance minister Arun Jaitley had proposed the Micro Units Development Refinance Agency (MUDRA) with a corpus of Rs20,000 crore, and credit guarantee corpus of Rs3,000 crore.

"The initial products and schemes under this umbrella have already been created and the interventions have been named 'Shishu', 'Kishor' and 'Tarun' to signify the stage of growth/development and funding needs of the beneficiary micro unit / entrepreneur," the Ministry said.

Shishu would cover loans up to Rs50,000 while Kishor above Rs50,000 and up to Rs5 lakh. Tarun category will cover loans of above Rs5 lakh and up to Rs10 lakh.

Mudra is to be set up through a statutory enactment. It would be responsible for developing and refinancing through a Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana.

Since the enactment for Mudra is likely to take some time, it is proposed to initiate the bank as a unit of SIDBI to benefit from SIDBI's initiatives and expertise.

Mudra would also partner with state / regional level coordinators to provide finance to "last mile financiers" of small / micro business enterprises.

"Further, the approach goes beyond credit only approach and offers a credit - plus solution for these enterprises spread across the country," the ministry said.

Among others, Mudra would benefit small manufacturing units, shopkeepers, fruits and vegetable sellers, hair saloon, beauty parlours, truck operators, hawkers, artisans in rural and urban areas with financing requirements up to Rs10 lakh.

The finance ministry said measures to be taken up by Mudra are targeted towards mainstreaming young, educated or skilled workers and entrepreneurs including women entrepreneurs.