‘A solution to this could be making landowner a shareholder in the enterprise’

Entrepreneurs at a conclave in Mangalore on Thursday expressed concern over high cost of land which they said was acting as a deterrent for setting up new micro, small and medium enterprises, among other factors.

The southern regional office of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) and the Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) organised the conclave on building capacities for sustainable growth of micro, small and medium enterprises.

J. Crasta, co-chairman, Assocham, Southern Regional Council, said that a host of problems relating to land acquisition, water and power supply took away the precious time and money of entrepreneurs for setting up industries.

He said that entrepreneurs not only had to bear the high cost of land but also the cost of machinery.

For example, if an acre of land acquired by the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) cost Rs. 50 lakh in Mangalore, entrepreneurs would have to invest in addition to the land cost on the machinery which would be a burden.

A solution to this could be making the landowner a shareholder in the enterprise after getting the land free of cost. “…There is no doubt that some proactive stance of the State can well mitigate all these problems. It is necessary to facilitate quicker decision making in order to fast track approvals and reduce clearance time for projects…,” he said. There was a need to create an investor-friendly climate for setting up industries, Mr. Crasta said.

Mohammed Ameen, president, Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who agreed with Mr. Crasta said that scarcity of land owing to high cost was an issue before entrepreneurs for setting up industries.

Mr. Crasta suggested to entrepreneurs to make the best use of the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme launched by the Union government to improve skills and technical capabilities.

Ajai Kumar, Chairman and Managing Director, Corporation Bank, said that the enterprises should make maximum use of the latest technology for manufacturing products of export quality.

He said that the bank had set up15 SME loan centres and would set up six more such centres.

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