State government is going to introduce a new scheme for the development of small and medium enterprises (SME) in Bihar. According to the official sources, the scheme, which will be named as Chief Minister Cluster Development Scheme, will focus on the needs of the SMEs and offer several incentives for cluster development. "SMEs are very important for the state government," Industries Minister Renu Kushwaha told Business Standard, "which is why, we are giving them special focus. A vast network of SMEs will attract big companies. It will be a huge source of employment to the people. SMEs grew very fast in clusters. Therefore, we have decided to introduce the new scheme, which focuses on the cluster development." The state government is also planning to offer subsidies under this new scheme. which it hopes to be operational by next fiscal year. "The needs of the SMEs will be the focal point of the scheme. However, the nitty-gritty of the scheme is still being finalised. Therefore, I cannot divulge much.
Hopefully, it will be finalised by next month," said the minister. The scheme will be mainly funded by central government as 90 percent of funds for the scheme will come from New Delhi. However, the state government has high hopes from this scheme. The minister commented, "We want to set up at least two clusters in every district under this new scheme. It will benefit the small entrepreneurs. It will also provide a huge source of employment to people. It will create solid base for the industrialisattion of the state. It will help us in creating a new and vast network of SMEs across the state." During the current fiscal 2,321 new SMEs set their shops in the state, which brought almost Rs 250 crores wroth of investment. Almost 10,000 people have been employed by these units. The state government has forwarded 54 proposals under the cluster development programme to Government of India, which has given its accent to dozen of them.