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May 11, 2002 | 1210 IST
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Sidbi plans technology bank this fiscal

BS Economy Bureau

The Small Industries Development Bank of India has announced its plans to set up a technology bank this fiscal.

"We have set up an in-house committee to study the issue. The panel's report is in advanced stage and is likely to be ready soon. We plan to set up the bank this fiscal," P B Nimbalkar, chairman of the bank, said.

"The bank, which would be the first of its kind in the country, would source technology and export technology. It would be set up as a separate company under the Companies Act."

"We are attempting to model the bank on the lines of a similar bank in Korea. Though the Korean bank has now been converted into a corporation, we are attempting to replicate its basic structure," Nimbalkar said.

In addition to setting up a technology bank, Sidbi will also focus on small innovations. "We have been made the nodal agency for funding small innovations. We are also in the process of initiating a micro venture-capital fund for small innovations," he said.

Nimbalkar said Sidbi's technology bureau for small enterprises had tied-up with the Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology in order to access the latter's database and technology for small enterprises.

Sidbi also plans to fund infrastructure projects for which it has earmarked Rs 4-5 billion this fiscal. Last fiscal, the bank funded 8-10 infrastructure projects.

It has also signed memoranda of understanding with Rome-based International Fund for Agriculture Development for a Rs 1.07 billion soft loan and Small Enterprises Assistance Fund for a venture capital fund with a corpus of Rs 1 billion.

"Small Enterprises Assistance Fund is negotiating with multilateral agencies such as Asian Development Bank and International Finance Corporation to float a venture fund in India with a corpus of about Rs 1 billion. Sidbi may contribute Rs 200-250 million in the fund," the Sidbi chief said.

Currently, the bank has the lowest non-performing assets to advances ratio and a robust capital adequacy ratio of 28 per cent. The bank has an equity share capital is at about Rs 4.50 billion.

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