Unit will make India only the fifth country to possess the technical knowhow

Minister for Industries Elamaram Karim has said that the titanium sponge unit of the public sector Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited (KMML), at Chavara near here, will be commissioned in September. He was inaugurating an industrial training centre of the district panchayat here on Monday.

Mr. Karim said that the titanium sponge unit, funded by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), would be a historic contribution by the State to India's industrial sector. The progress of the unit's construction is being reviewed every month at the Cabinet level. On getting commissioned, the unit will make India the fifth country in the world to have the technical knowhow to produce titanium sponge and titanium metal.

He said that the KMML, a flagship company of the State government, had been registering outstanding performance in the past four years. It targets a net profit of Rs.130 crore this year. Last year the company had spent Rs. 2 crore on social welfare activities for people living in its vicinity. These activities, like providing drinking water supply, roads and streetlights, create a feeling among the people that the company is theirs too.

The Minister said that four years of LDF rule had seen a record industrial growth in the State. In the past two years, there has been a record increase in the registration of new companies in the State. “This proves that the State is enjoying a favourable industrial climate,” he said, adding that small-scale industries had tremendous scope in the State. Mr. Karim said that by starting the industrial training centre, Kollam district panchayat has created a new model for industrial growth. Availability of skilled labour is vital for industrial growth. District panchayat president K. Somaprasad presided.

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