Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: BJD MP from Puri Pinaki Mishra today praised Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan at a programme marking Micro Unit Development and Refinance Agency (Mudra) promotion in the State.

"Dharmendra Babu's worst critics will also concede one fact that he is exceptionally hard-working and very very competent. I don't believe in last 40 years there has been a luckier Petroleum Minister than Dharmendra Babu. He has ensured inexplicably, I don’t know how, that international crude prices which were $140-160 a barrel in 2014 when he took over, have thereafter languished at about $30-40 a barrel and even came as lowest $20 a barrel," Mishra said.

On the occasion, Minister Dharmendra Pradhan who is also the minister in charge of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship said the Centre has plans to make Odisha the laboratory of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

"The banks should disburse credit between Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1 crore to Odisha's new entrepreneurs by September next year," Pradhan said.

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Stating that about 3.5 lakh to 4 lakh youths become employable every year, Pradhan said both the central and state governments should work in tandem to ensure that the youths get employment.

He said the Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Ministry has been working to ensure skill development of youths across the country.

He, however, asked the banks to come forward and increase their credit ratio in order to help the new entrepreneurs.

"The credit ratio of banks in Odisha remains at 50 per cent. This should be 75 per cent," Pradhan said.

Pradhan also thanked banks for disbursing credit of Rs 18,600 crore to 66.20 lakh people in the state. Of them, 20 lakh were first timers, he said.