Special Correspondent

"Railways looking more to partnering with private sector" Minister says Railways looking more to partnering with the private sector

CHENNAI: Small-scale industries need to broad base themselves over various geographical areas and aid in employment generation in the less developed regions, Minister of State for Railways R. Velu said on Monday.

The large number of engineering graduates coming down educational institutions every year should be helped in finding employment in small and medium enterprises. Manufacturers' associations such as the Ambattur Industrial Estate Manufacturers' Association (AIMEA) should provide technical know-how in dispersing SSIs and SMEs throughout the State, he said, addressing the valedictory function of ACMEE 2006, the seventh international industrial exhibition, organised by the AIMEA Technology Centre. The Railways was now looking more to partnering with the private sector and netted a Rs. 11,000-crore surplus this year.

One of the challenges facing the manufacturing sector was in equitable absorption of labour, Arun Ramanathan, State Secretary, Small Industries, said. A situation had arisen in which there was a need to look at such absorption in sub-sectors of manufacturing and the elasticity of this had to be pushed as this would be the primary driver of growth in the years to come.

The banking industry had created an enabling atmosphere for SSIs to survive, said P Pradeep Kumar, General Manager, State Bank of India. SSIs had to make a serious attempt at encouraging young professionals to enter the manufacturing industry even at an earlier stage.

340 stalls

ACMEE 2006 saw the participation of seven countries and featured 340 stalls covering five thrust areas automobile and allied services, computers and peripherals, machinery and machine tools, electrical equipment and electronic controls, Dilip Kumbhat, chairman, ATC, said.

The total volume of sale of machinery was Rs. 120 crore. An export promotion cell would be set up at the ATC. The AIMEA and the ATC would sign a pact with the Sri Lankan Chamber of Small Industries on Thursday for a one-to-one tie up.

Awards were given to Brakes India Ltd, under the "Innovative Product-Indian-large scale" category, and to Mercury Pneumatics, under the "Innovative Product-Indian-Small Scale" category. Stalls with the best display arrangements were also felicitated.

R. Selvaraj and K.S. Jeyaraman, chairman and convener of ACMEE 2006, spoke.