Small and cottage industries sector witnessed a moderate growth during the last fiscal as some 18,668 industrial units have been established during the period.
Among them, the number of small industries is some 1,835, while some 16,833 units belong to the cottage category. These were established across the country during 2004-05, according to Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries (BSCIC) sources.
In order to boost the small and cottage industries, the BSCIC and other banks have disbursed loans worth about Tk 100.47 billion (Tk.1047 crore) in this sector, sources said.
BSCIC and other banks extended funds and other logistic supports to some 8,710 small and 41,887 cottage industries in the country during the last fiscal, sources said.
A BSCIC official said, some 1,698 small and 1,926 cottage industries have been registered with the BSCIC during the mentioned period.
BSCIC also has different loan disbursement projects on Rangamati-Khagrachhari-Bandarban at Chitagong Hill Tracts to help bolster the growth of small and cottage industries, BSCIC official said.
"Both tribal and non-tribal entrepreneurs of such industrial units could apply for loan and avail of the assistance provided by BSCIC", he added.
BSCIC, under its development project, disbursed loan for developing entrepreneurship in this particular sector. These include self-employment with the help of the small and cottage industries, women entrepreneur development programme (WEDP), poverty eradication through income generating activities (IGA), and developing industry to boost rural economy.
The BSCIC official said the sector employed some 129,000 people in 2004-05, and of them, 69,000 were involved in small while 60,000 in cottage industries.
Besides, BSCIC has a total 63 industrial estates across the country - one of them is the electronics complex - situated at Mirpur in the city.
Sources in the BSCIC said, some 18 industrial estates are under construction in the country, which will be completed within a short time.
In order to promote the small and cottage industries under private sector initiates, BSCIC has two programmes including Development-extension and Control Programme under revenue budget and term development programme under the Annual Development Programme (ADP).
In line with development and extension programme, BSCIC provides assistance for developing industrial entrepreneurs and supplied plots with necessary utility facilities in the industrial estates.
However, considering the country's national plans earmarked for small and cottage industries, BSCIC has undertaken 14 development projects under the ADP, most of them being targetted at poverty reduction.
For promoting the rural economy, BSCIC has some 110-selected Upazilas under which it provides loans up to Tk 50,000 per unit at an interest rate of 10-12 per cent for a two-year term.