Kolkata: State Finance and MSME minister Amit Mitra said on Tuesday that the state is ranked first in the country when it comes to bank lending in the MSME sector.”Bengal is top in the country when it comes to bank lending in MSME. In 2018-19 the MSME bank lending has been to the tune of Rs 56,458 crore. In 2017-18 this was Rs 44,049 crore,” Mitra said in response to a query from Trinamool Congress MLA Samir Kumar Jana at the state Assembly on Tuesday. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaMitra said since the present government assumed power for the first time in 2011, it has set targets in all State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) meetings and through constant monitoring has ensured smooth lending in the MSME sector. “In 2010-11, the lending in MSME was only Rs 7,236 crore, which we have increased eight times in 2018-19,” he added. Speaking about the various steps taken by the state in MSME, Mitra said that it has taken the initiative for holding MSME synergies across the state. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway”Business clusters have increased from 49 in 2011 to 520 in 2018. The first MSME conclave in Bengal was held in 2018 at the Biswa Bangla Convention Centre this year, which was inaugurated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. 4,500 craftsmen like weavers, handicraftsmen etc. spread across the state took part in the conclave. “We have arranged training for skill enhancement and creating infrastructure for marketing products manufactured by the craftsmen,” Mitra maintained. He informed the House that the state is coming up with Asia’s first ‘Integrated Leather Complex’ at Bantala, the completion of which would generate 5 lakh jobs in near future. According to Mitra, several MSME projects are coming up at Howrah, which will also employ a good number of people in the state.