The traditional industrial sector appears to have paid the price for the government's overemphasis on industrial infrastructure development programme in the State's budget for 2012-13.
Finance Minister K.M. Mani has allocated around Rs.300 crore for the cashew, coir, handloom, and khadi sectors. Of this, the Minister allocated Rs.100 crore for coir development and Rs.65 crore for the cashew sector. The budget allocation for handloom works out to Rs.67 crore, mainly for modernisation of looms, export promotion, procurement of raw materials for weavers, revival and strengthening of handloom cooperatives, and creation of handloom villages. The textiles sector would get a special package of Rs.60 crore, part of which would go for modernisation of Edarikkode Textile Mills.
The Minister has allocated Rs.12 crore for the Khadi sector, mainly for setting up1,500 units, upgrading 2,000 charkas and setting up village industries parks in land owned by the Khadi and Village Industries Board. The Rs.65 crore available for the cashew sector would be utilised for setting up a raw cashew bank, modernisation of cashew factories owned by the Kerala State Cashew Development Corporation and branding of Kerala cashew with an eye on tapping its export potential.