Amid a slew of reforms taken for the empowerment of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) segment, the Centre revealed that loan disbursal to this segment witnessed a 20 percent growth year-on-year (YoY). However, first-time borrowers increased by four lakhs, while loans to small businesses in the Rs. 10 lakh sub-section increased by 32 percent. Out of this, companies in the Rs.10-50 lakh segment saw 17.1 percent growth, while those in the Rs.50 lakh to Rs. 1 crore grew by 15.6 percent. The data also revealed that MSMEs with a loan between Rs.10 lakh and Rs. 5 crores had the lowest crime rate, stable asset quality and limited downside. MSME sector, in this year's Union Budget, was recognised as the engine of growth and employment.