New Delhi: Banks and financial institutions need to take steps towards faster disbursement of loans to MSMEs, Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Nitin Gadkari said on Wednesday.

Gadkari was referring to the government's 59-minute loan scheme that was launched last year. The scheme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide loans up to 1 crore to MSMEs in just 59 minutes or less than an hour. Banks have now increased the limited to 5 crore.

“There are problems with regard to some of the financial institutions. They are not taking decisions fast. They delay things and that is a problem," said Gadkari at the release of the think-tank IDFC institute’s report titled "Infrastructure Priorities for Job Creation in India".

Even though the banks are sanctioning loans, the disbursement has not been up to satisfaction, the minister said. As of 31 March, 2019, more than 50,706 proposals have got in-principle approvals and 27,893 proposals have been sanctioned.

The minister also pointed out that the government seeks to create employment opportunities and infrastructure creation such as construction of roads has created more jobs.

“Prosperity of a country is linked to the development of roads and that has proved true in India’s case as well. Construction of roads has led to an increase in the demand of steel, cement and manufacturing equipments. It has also doubled up the employment opportunities as more and more engineers and labourers are now joining the workforce", said Gadkari.

He further said that the government is working towards constructing 20 new green expressways, keeping economic viability in mind. “Our target is also to construct the Delhi-Mumbai expressway, which will reduce the distance between Delhi and Mumbai by 240 kilometres, within the next three years," he said.

Separately, he said that within the next two years all buses in the country will be converted to electric. The minister has time and again reiterated the government’s firm stance to alternative sources of fuel and without mandatorily switching to electric vehicle.

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