Contrary to chief minister Mamata Banerjee&’s claim that the micro and small scale industries are developing in the state, a report prepared by the state government reveals the number of sick micro and small industries (MSME) units have gone up to 38,835 this year from 8,365 in 2011.

According to the report, the situation has been worsening for the last few years. The number of MSME units becoming sick has been alarmingly on the rise since 2011. Till March, 2011, there were 8,365 sick units against 11,519 in 2013 and 38,835 in 2015.

The report has been compiled and has been sent to the chief minister&’s office (CMO) for incorporating it in the administrative calendar.

Senior officials of the state government said that the state government is yet to prepare a plan for overhauling the sick MSME units and the main reason attributed by them is that most of the MSMEs lack proper infrastructure to carry out their work. The factors attributed for the industrial sickness are primarily lack of demand and huge infrastructure gap (41.94%), shortage of working capital (20.49%), marketing problems (11.48%), management problems (6.46%), power shortage (5.71%), labour problems (5.64%), non-availability of raw materials (5.11%) and equipment problems (3.17%).

According to the figures collected from the state government in West Bengal, there were around 27.53 lakh micro and small units.

Significantly, on 23 April, 2013, a report prepared by the ASSOCHAM mentioned that 96 per cent of the existing sick units in West Bengal are not fit for revival in West Bengal and suggested the state government should set up e-MSME-clusters and a special cell to help and facilitate the remaining 4 per cent of the units.

The report also stated that the industrial sickness in the state has not only affected capital formation and utilisation of the available resources, but has also sent highly discouraging signal to the entrepreneurs within and outside the state.