Small and medium sector entrepreneurs in Kerala's industrial capital have warmly welcomed the general tone of the State Budget 2012-13 providing a new roadmap for industrial development and for its focus on new generation industries employing emerging technologies.

At the same time, they have also called for a new culture of enterprise that will imbibe the spirit of the budget proposals.

Industrial clusters using bio-technology; value-added products from rice and coconut; technology-aided agriculture and new electronics park have the potential to take the State into a new trajectory of growth, said Thomas Xavier Kondody of the Kerala State Small Industries Association (KSSIA). He said that entrepreneurs in the State should orient themselves to take on the new challenges as we build a new culture.

Director of the city-based Institute of Small Enterprises Development P.M. Mathew said that the budget emphasis on new technology industries was a point of take-off for Kerala. He, however, felt that some of the budget proposals tended to dissipate the resources over a large geographical area and he questioned the rationale behind giving too much of a political orientation to development projects.

An industry insider in the city said that the government should provide an enabling environment as he pointed out that technology-driven enterprises suited Kerala given its natural endowments.

The proposal for developing an industrial estate on 100 acres at Brahmapuram is a welcome step, said an office-bearer of KSSIA. The proposal for setting up a 1,200-MW gas-based power plant in Kochi; additional skill development programmes for students and the State innovation mission are all steps in the right direction that spell good news for Kochi and its hinterland.

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