The State government has decided to redesign the Kerala State Entrepreneur Development Mission (KSEDM) and launch it as a flagship programme with greater coverage, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has said.

Delivering the inaugural address at a conference on ‘MSME Funding’ organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here on Thursday, he said the mission had succeeded in identifying 674 entrepreneurs for financial assistance provided by the Kerala Financial Corporation. “Out of them, 200 have started functioning,” he said.

Admitting that the MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) sector was hampered by lack of finance, technology, manpower, infrastructure and marketing, and labour issues, Mr. Chandy said the KSEDM was being redesigned to address these issues. He added that food processing, marine foods, spices, vegetables, and fruits were promising areas for the MSME sector in Kerala. The government, he said, had decided to observe September 12 as State Entrepreneurship Day to mark the Emerging Kerala Summit held in Kochi last year.

Mr. Chandy said Kerala had been recognised as a model State in cluster development. The Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Kinfra) and the Kerala Academy for Skills Excellence (KASE) had played a proactive role in promoting the MSME sector.

Hari Krishnan Nair, Chairman, CII, Thiruvananthapuram, and Nandakumar K, vice chairman, P. Joy Oommen, Chairman and Managing Director, KFC, and R.K. Dubey, CMD, Canara Bank, were among those who spoke.

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