THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In what comes as a relief to the cash-strapped cashew industry, banks have agreed to include it in the list of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME). The decision will enable the sector to avail cheaper loans and get interest subsidies offered by the Central government as part of its Covid-19 mitigation package.
“The cashew business was considered a part of the agriculture sector so far. Hence, the benefits due to industries were denied to the sector,” said Cashew Industries Minister J Mercykutty Amma. “Its inclusion in the MSME will herald the revival of the cashew industry,” she said. She held a discussion with bankers in this regard on Thursday.
Earlier, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had requested the banks to offer relief to the ailing cashew industry with the help of the financial package announced by the Centre. The sector is eligible to be in the MSME category, as it comes under the industries with an investment of Rs 50 crore and generate produce below `250 crore. The MSME tag will enable those in the industry to get interest subsidy offered under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat package for small loans offered by Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency Ltd (MUDRA). The MSME tag comes at a time when the state had requested the Nabard for an additional special liquidity facility to the tune of `1,000 crore.