Even as campaign picks up in the district for the Lok Sabha elections, industries here say they need a representative who will understand their problems, represent it to the Central Government and help find solutions.
The district is one of the largest hubs in the country for the textile industry, is a well-known jewellery manufacturing centre, has a substantial number of micro, small and medium-scale industries and is also major exporter of textiles, coir, engineering goods, etc.
But, industrial activity here has been hit during the last two years because of slowdown in orders, power shortage, etc. Though power is a problem in the State, national grid connectivity is one of the major requirements that will improve power availability. The connectivity will enable the industries to purchase power from different sources. The units also need strengthening of the wind energy capacity here, say industry sources.
The MP should be a single window for industries to represent their problems to the Union Government. There are several smaller industry associations that need support and assistance to meet the officials and Ministers in the Government and find a solution to their problems, says a representative of the textile mill sector.
For instance, the textile industry here went through a tough period and has revived only during the last 12 months. The Central and State Governments should have special focus on the district to sustain and strengthen the textile production capacity here. The local MP should be part of the consultative committee on textiles.
“We want a strong and stable Government that will support the development of MSMEs. We need a special MSME policy. We have been asking the Government to provide financial support to the MSMEs during the last two years,” says a foundry owner here. “The MP should be able to understand our problems and take it up with the Centre,” the owner says.
In the case of the jewellery sector, business and jewellery manufacturing here has declined by almost 50 per cent since June last year because of restrictions on gold availability. “When we cast our vote, we look at what the new Government will do for the improvement of the city and the country. This will strengthen our business too. Coimbatore is known for the light weight, hand-made jewellery. We need a jewellery infrastructure cluster. Rajkot and Kolkata have benefited from the programme,” says a jewellery retailer.
For the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the main demands are development of a National Manufacturing Zone here and strengthening of the local infrastructure. It plans to submit its demands to all the candidates.
Coimbatore needs Tax Tribunal and Central Excise Tribunal. These are issues that only the MP can represent to the Centre, says a pumpset exporter here.