Plan for industrial hubs and textile sector revival stalled

With hardly a fortnight left for the presentation of the State budget for 2013-14, two major proposals announced in the previous budget are still awaiting funds. The proposals for developing four industrial hubs and subvention for reviving the textiles sector were stymied by the Finance Department’s laxity in releasing the budgetary allocation.

A sum of Rs.100 crore was earmarked to acquire land for developing four industrial development hubs attached to sea ports and airports.

It was proposed to develop the centres in connection with the Nedumbassery airport and the Vallarpadom container terminal in Ernakulam, Karipur airport, and Beypore port in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts, Mattanur and Azheekkal in Kannur, and Vizhinjam and Shanghumughom in Thiruvananthapuram.

Constitution of a Seaport-Airport Development Authority was also mooted for implementing the proposals. Land acquisition was to be completed by Kinfra.

Official sources told The Hindu here that the Finance Department sat on the proposals and did not provide the budgetary allocation. The hubs were deemed to give a fillip to the initiatives of the Industries Department. The lackadaisical attitude in providing funds has upset the development plans, sources said.

The financial assistance of Rs.60 crore announced exclusively for the textile industry was also considered to give a major boost to the ailing textiles sector. Financial assistance was also offered for the modernisation of Edarikode Textiles in its platinum jubilee year.

The packages were expected to give a breather to the textile sector which had been reeling under a crisis. The acute scarcity and rising cost of raw materials and the mounting power bills continued to hinder the smooth functioning of mills, the sources said.

The managements were increasingly finding the going tough and it is feared that the crisis would eventually to lead to a shut down.

The Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) had snapped the power connections to certain defaulting mills and the statutory payments due to employees could not be paid.

A sum of at least Rs.25 crore would have to be invested to make the three new mills — at Komalapuram, Kasaragod and Kannur opened during the tenure of the LDF government — fully operational.

The Industries Department had worked out a plan for reviving the sector and also for making the new mills fully operational.

The funds offered under the package were proposed to be used for meeting such immediate needs.

All such plans had gone awry and the crisis was set to worsen in the coming days, the sources said.

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