The small and medium enterprises (SME) sector in the country deserves all possible support from the government to thrive under the globalised economic scenario, said E. M. Sudarasana Nachiappan, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, here on Saturday.

“More than anybody else, government support is required the most for the SME sector in terms of sops and concessions such as restructuring of loans. I have already taken up the matter with our government,” he said at a felicitation function organised jointly by TIDITSSIA, BHELSIA, CII, Tamil Nadu Boilers Association, and Women Entrepreneurs Association of Tamil Nadu.

Appealing to SMEs to make use of the invest India programme of the Union government, Mr. Nachiappan said he was taking steps to attract investments in SME sector from Japan, Belarus, and a few other countries. Small entrepreneurs should take advantage of such initiatives to draw foreign investment and technology. Suggesting creation of three industrial nodes in Tamil Nadu, he, however, emphasised the need for the support of the State government in acquiring the required lands for the proposal.

He also favoured the revival of the proposed joint venture between the Tangedco and the BHEL for setting up Udangudi power project. The compensation claims of people, who had given their land for Jayamkondam Lignite Power Project, could be settled through a Lok Adalat, he said, and added that he proposed to take up these matters with Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

Earlier, captains of the industry from the city urged the Minister to ensure that Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited provide adequate orders to its ancillaries in Tiruchi, most of which were dependent on the public sector major for sustenance.

S. Abdul Rasheed, president, TIDITSSIA, said the fabrication units in Tiruchi had a capacity to process 3.5 lakh tonnes a year and the BHEL should utilise the capacity fully before placing orders elsewhere. He also urged the Minister to take steps to create a Tiruchi-Thanjavur-Pudukottai-Karur-Perambalur-Ariyalur industrial corridor by leveraging region-specific strengths.

B. Pattabhiraman, president, Tamil Nadu Boilers Association, said both the BHEL and its ancillaries were facing challenges, and appealed to the Minister to extend full support to the public sector major and fabrication units in Tiruchi.

M. Srinivasan, president, BHELSIA, urged the Minister to ensure good order flow to the BHEL as the fabrication units were dependent on it. Rani Muralidharan, chairperson, CII, pleaded for government support for setting up a common facility and incubation centres to revive the gem and jewellery industry in Tiruchi.

N. Manimekalai, founder, WEAT, sought a training and incubation centre for women entrepreneurs.

K. Rengarajan, secretary, Tiruchi District Chamber of Commerce, and S.Punniyamoorthy, secretary, TIDITSSIA, spoke.