As per the data compiled by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) from the scheduled commercial banks, the number of sick micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in the country has come down from 1,14,132 as at the end of March 2007 to 1,02,951 as at the end of March 2009. Information in respect of medium enterprises is not being collated by the RBI.
Financial assistance, by way of debt restructuring, including fresh loans, for the rehabilitation of sick MSE is provided by the primary lending institutions (PLIs), including commercial banks, which provide credit to the MSEs. For this purpose, the RBI has issued detailed guidelines to banks in January 2002 on detection of sickness in MSE at an early stage and taking remedial measures and for rehabilitation of sick MSEs identified as potentially viable. RBI has also issued guidelines on 8th September 2005 on debt restructuring mechanism for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) based on the “Policy Package for Stepping up Credit to Small and Medium Enterprises” announced by the Central Government on 10th August 2005. These guidelines relate, inter alia, to viability criteria, prudential norms for restructured accounts, provision of additional finance and time frame for working out the restructuring package and its implementation. Further, the RBI has advised all scheduled commercial banks on May 4, 2009 to apply the RBI’s guidelines on debt restructuring optimally and in letter and spirit and put in place their own non-discretionary one-time settlement (OTS) policy for the MSE sector.
This information was given by Shri Dinsha Patel, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.