TAMIL NADU

Funds sought for setting up 60 artisan clusters

Craftsmanship: Industries Commissioner G. Santhanam looking at artificial jewellery made by artisans, in the city on Thursday.

Craftsmanship: Industries Commissioner G. Santhanam looking at artificial jewellery made by artisans, in the city on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: S. James

Staff Reporter

“Procedures for starting new venture simplified”

MADURAI: The State Government has appealed to the Centre to grant its share of Rs. 600 crore, allotted in the current Five Year Plan, for developing 60 artisan clusters in Tamil Nadu, within the current fiscal.

“Establishing clusters takes some time. If the funds are released earlier, we can expedite the proceedings,” G. Santhanam, Industries Commissioner and Director of Industries and Commerce, told artisans during an interaction here on Thursday.

The programme was organised by Small Industries Product Promotion Organisation (SIPPO) and District Industries Centre (DIC) to distribute certificates to artisans who had participated in a design workshop.

Mr. Santhanam also gave away membership certificates to cottage industry gold and artificial jewellery cluster members.

Highlighting the importance of tiny and small industries, he said that they constituted 95 per cent of industries and 40 per cent of industrial production. Besides, they also contributed 30 per cent of the nation’s exports.

In Tamil Nadu, he said, over 5 lakh small units functioned churning out products worth Rs. 19,364 crore and employing 40 lakh persons. To promote this sector, the Central Government came out with a law in 2006.

The State Government also announced a policy this February to promote this sector, Mr. Santhanam said.

The procedures for starting a new venture had been simplified to a great extent and applications were made available online. Also the time taken for subsidies had been reduced to a great extent, he said.

S. Rajagopal, Managing Director, SIPPO, said that 5,000 artisans were involved in gold, silver and other clusters in Madurai district. For the new gold and artificial jewellery cluster, 350 people had been given certificates. Another 150 would be added within a fortnight, he said.

S. A. P. Vairamani, General Manager and Joint Director, DIC, Madurai; P. Samuel Peter, Assistant Programme Officer, SIPPO; and B. Neelavalli, Nodal Officer, SIPPO, spoke.

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