Staff Reporter

KARUR: Greater importance is being accorded to small and medium industrial units, which are vital in creating huge employment opportunities as well as generating foreign exchange in terms of export, observed the Small Scale Industries Secretary, P. Ilango, here recently.

Addressing a “SME meet on forex and risk management” organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, Tiruchi Zone, Mr. Ilango pointed out that his department was taking all efforts to tap the global market potential for small and medium industries as well.

A special cell in all the District Industries Centre and launching of a portal on export opportunities for those units were some of the steps the Government has taken to help the units.

The vice-chairman, CII Tiruchi Zone, A. Annamalai, stated that the small and medium enterprises have always been the engine of growth around the world.

Around 70 per cent of the CII members come from the SME sector and no wonder the CII played a key role in assisting SMEs to grow and become competitive in the changing global scene, he said.

Risk Management was a human activity, which integrated recognition of risk assessment, developing strategies to manage that and mitigate the risk using managerial resources.

There was scope for exponential growth in the SME sector and no wonder bankers were betting on the new target, pointed out General Manager, Bank of India, Chennai, Nagesh Pydah. The propensity for credit saturation to SME sector was immense on account of the need for long-term investments in technology, marketing, brand and capacity building. Inadequate credit sanction and delays in credit sanction, the two major issues confronting the sector, would be addressed in due course, he added.

Lack of transparency on the part of SMEs, lack of information made available to bankers for credit appraisal and lack of appreciation to comply with bank’s formalities were matters that needed to be addressed in the context of the two issues.Former Chairman of the Handloom Export Promoton Council M Sivakkannan said that the export industry was perplexed at the unprecedented rupee-dollar fluctuation as the dollar has weakened to a great extent while the realisation in terms of rupee was poor.

The losses suffered by Karur exporters over the last month or two has brought about some significant changes. Exporters were in no mood to sign fresh contracts. If the costing were to be done on the basis of the latest exchange rates, the prices become unacceptable to the buyer.

Senior Vice-President and Regional Head of the HSBC Bank, Chennai, Soumyadip Chowdhury, made a presentation on ‘Factoring as a Structured Working Capital Solution to SMEs.” He elaborated on re-financing, ledger management, collection service and credit protection.