Cottage and small industries (CSI) are expected to see major changes starting next year.

The Royal Monetary Authority  (RMA) states that it has come up with a policy for priority sector lending (PSL) and CSI will be a priority. The central bank is expected to launch the policy next month.

RMA officials, led by the governor and heads of all financial and non-banking institutions, who are conducting a financial literacy roadshow, said that the priority sector lending policy will act as a stimulus for economic transformation, targeting important sectors such as agriculture and CSIs that have greater capabilities to become more enterprising and business oriented.

Officials say that any citizen with a business idea could come forward for financial assistance through PSL.

The policy will have all relevant stakeholders brought on one platform to help realise the CSI idea.

In a meeting with dzongkhag and gewog officials in Tsirang, governor, Dasho Penjore, said that sector heads and officials should understand the magnitude of the impact PSL could create at the village and community level. “Local leaders have an important role in making youth and the community enterprising and business oriented.”

He said that from next year onwards, CSI will be seen as a major platform for everybody, rich or poor, small or big, educated or uneducated, to be engaged. “PSL is like a bomb. Once it blasts, splinters will reach all over the place and everybody will respond to the splinters.”

He claimed that Bhutan would be recognised for putting forward CSI as a priority in making the country self-reliant.

He suggested each dzongkhag to provide a platform to youth and community to pitch their ideas by organising programmes such as CSI fairs. “There relevant stakeholders such as financial institutions, equity holders, land commission and insurance companies could be called at one forum.”

Dasho Penjore said that as long as one has an idea, enthusiasm and market, they will be enterprising and they need not go to Dubai and Kuwait looking for jobs. Besides discussing regular developmental plans, the governor insisted dzongkhag tshogdus to discuss business ideas, cottage and small industries and enterprises.

He said that the RMA is also looking forward to providing licenses to new banks targeting solely to lend money to CSIs. “In order to encourage the flow of credit to agriculture and CSI, the RMA is already in the final stages of implementing a PSL policy as well as the rules and regulations for CSI banks.”

The governor said that RMA would be making at least Nu1.5B available for lending to a financial institution in the first year of PSL for agriculture and non-agriculture enterprising. “Each financial institution will have a window designated for PSL service.”

Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang