150 new units likely to come up by the end of this financial year

An intensive industrialisation drive is on in the State capital, with the District Industries Centre (DIC) aiming at 150 new industrial units, mainly micro, small and medium enterprises, in the district by the end of this financial year.

The idea is to extend a helping hand to entrepreneurs to set up enterprises in potential manufacturing sectors suitable to the district with an investment of not less than Rs.25 lakh in plant and machinery.

Sick and closed down units too are being identified to revive or ‘rehabilitate’ them through tie-ups with new investors or through financial assistance.

According to R. Ramesh Chandran, General Manager, DIC, the process had begun in July at the block level and already, 285 potential investors had been identified. Industries Extension Officers at the block level had also identified potential sectors, 166 of them to be precise, so far.

Block-level industrial seminars would begin on Wednesday, beginning with one in Neyyattinkara, during which the sectors and projects would be finalised, and then, a one-day seminar or investors’ meet would be held at the taluk-level, where each entrepreneur would be attached to a particular project. He or she would then be guided to prepare a detailed project report and then a technical feasibility report. This would be done by the end of September.

These would then be discussed at a district-level convention, to be attended by representatives of financing institutions and also those of agencies (Pollution Control Board, Factories and Boilers, Health, Fire and Rescue Services) whose clearance was required.

The projects would be then recommended to the financing institutions and the DIC would also help the entrepreneurs move ahead with the clearances through a single window clearance facility. The enterprises, once set up, would be “hand-held” for about thee months by which time they were expected to run on their own.

Potential sectors

The potential sectors identified in the district included manufacturing of building material (floor tiles, paving blocks, inter-locking tiles); food products (packaged drinking water, dairy products, frozen foods and so on); PVC pipes; notebooks and office stationery; eco-friendly products (paper carry bags/cups/plates, non-woven carry bags and so on); ice plants; Ayurvedic medicines; sandals and pet bottles; and medical surgical equipment, to mention a few.

One of the major enterprises identified to come up at Vizhinjam was a unit for manufacturing aero precision materials (for installations like Brahmos and VSSC), expected to have an investment of about Rs.6 crore.

Land shortage was an issue, but the DIC was making efforts to help entrepreneurs overcome this by identifying sick and defunct units, where land was lying unused. These units could either be replaced with new ones or encouraged for tie-ups with new projects and in some cases, could have new projects as extensions of existing ones, Mr. Chandran said.