Special Correspondent

Due to modernisation and better supervision, says Minister

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: More than a dozen public sector companies in Kerala will come out of the red this year.

Kerala Minister for Industries Elamaram Karim told presspersons on Tuesday that 24 companies would make cash profits this year against 10 at the time of assumption of office by the present Government.

The Minister said that while the previous Government had taken the stand that public sector units were a liability for the Government, the present one tried to improve their performance by modernisation, making the managements professional and better supervision by the Government. Mr. Karim said the joint venture between Steel Industrials Kerala Ltd. (SILK) and Railways was part of efforts to revive the sick unit. The Railways would be initially investing Rs.85 crore in the joint venture. The Government was willing for any kind of arrangement with the Railways for the future development of the unit as a full-fledged coach factory. He said Minister for Defence A.K. Antony would visit the Kerala High-tech Industries on March 19. He was expected to announce a major collaboration with the company for defence production. The steel forgings under SILK would also be undertaking defence production with an initial investment of Rs.14 crore. The revival of the steel complex at Kozhikode was also on the cards. If a proposal for making special steel with participation of a Central public sector unit did not come through, the State Industrial Development Corporation would invest funds to set up a re-rolling mill.