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Tuesday, July 31, 2001

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Expert group studying problems of SSIs

By Our Special Correspondent

BANGALORE, JULY 30. The Minister for Large- and Medium-scale Industries, Mr. R.V. Deshpande, on Monday informed the Legislative Council that the Government had constituted a Special Expert Group to study the problems of small-scale industries (SSIs) and suggest remedial measures. The report would be submitted within six months, based on which the Government would take steps to ensure that the SSIs in the State did not suffer.

Replying to Mr. K.N. Rajanna during Question Hour, the minister said there were 2.4 lakh SSIs in the State, and that quite a number of them were sick. He cited a sample survey conducted by the Centre which found that nearly 30 per cent of the SSIs were sick on account of various factors such as lack of working capital, labour problems, lack of technology upgradation, global competition, etc.

He said the Government had already taken steps under the new industrial policy for technology upgradation by giving an interest subsidy of four per cent to SSIs and tiny industries. The government was also setting up an infrastructure fund.

The Minister of State for Small-scale Industries, Mr. S.R. Kashappanavar, told Mr. Rajanna that of the 130 industries in Tumkur, 35 had closed down, and the reasons were competition from multinational companies and infrastructural problems.

Dr. M.P. Nadagouda said the Government had failed in providing infrastructure to the small-scale sector which generated considerable employment.

Mysore Kirloskar: Mr. Deshpande assured Mr. `Mukhyamantri' Chandru that once the Bureau of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction decided on the fate of Mysore Kirloskar, Harihar, the Government would support any proposal by the employees for the rehabilitation of the company. The company had closed down, and the reasons given by the company for the closure were recession, lack of working capital, etc.

Development charges: The Minister for Urban Development, Mr. Chimmana Katti, said the Government would come out with an ordinance in the next couple of months to ensure that there was one authority collecting development charges from the general public.

He agreed with Dr. A.H. Shivayogi Swamy that development charges were being collected by both the city municipalities and the urban development authorities, even after the new layouts had been handed over to the municipalities. This duplication, he agreed, would have to be avoided.

Mr. Chimmana Katti said that there was no proposal before the government to sanction Rs. 220 crores for the beautification of Gulbarga city. He was replying to Dr. M.R. Tanga.

Unauthorised mining: The Minister for Geology and Mines, Mr. V. Muniyappa, told Mr. P. Ramiah that squads had been set up to check unauthorised mining in the State. He said that wherever mining was to be carried out near forest areas, permission had to be obtained from the Forest Department, He replied that no lease had been granted for quarrying in the reserved forest area around Biligiri Ranga hills.

Hostels: The Minister for Social Welfare, Mr. Kagodu Thimmappa, said that regular inspection of government and aided hostels were being conducted. In reply to Ms. Jalaja Naik's question, he said orientation programmes were being conducted for the staff to ensure that the children were taken care of properly. He said cases where misappropriation of hostel funds had taken place, the Government had initiated action for recovery of the money from the officials concerned.

Silk quality: The Minister for Sericulture and Textiles, Mr. M. Mahadev, said the Government would introduce, in phases, modern technology to upgrade the quality of silk. He concurred with Mr. Channabasavaiah that Chinese silk was of superior quality.

He said the country produced 14,400 tonnes of silk and Karnataka accounted for 60 per cent of the production. The demand was 24,000 tonnes and imports met the demand to some extent. Efforts were on to increase silk production in the State.

Reply withheld: The acting Chairman, Mr. David Simeon, withheld, till Wednesday, a reply provided by the Minister for Municipal Administration, Mr. Mallikarjuna Nagappa, since the English and Kannada versions did not tally.

Mr. V.R. Sudarshan, Mr. M.C. Nanaiah and Mr. D.H. Shankaramurthy pointed out that the reply furnished by the minister to Ms. Winifred Fernandes's question on the number of sanctioned posts in the Kundapur Town Municipal Council did not tally, and they sought action against the officials for this discrepancy.

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