`Meeting of departments soon'

CHENNAI, MARCH 24. A meeting of all departments concerned will be convened shortly to take a note of the report released by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on `industrialisation of southern districts' and to evolve a framework for its implementation.

This was conveyed by the Industries Minister, Nainar Nagenthran, to leaders of the State Council of the CII at the annual meeting of the industry body here today. Apart from discussing measures to speed up the development of Madurai, Tuticorin, Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari, Sivaganga and Ramanathapuram districts, the meeting would look into simplification of the administration process to facilitate industrialisation.

B. Santhanam, Council Vice-Chairman, said the southern districts had tremendous potential to spur the economic development of the State. The seven districts identified by the report, he added, could play a significant role in attracting a chunk of the estimated Rs. 1 lakh crore investments that could be possible in the State during the next 10 years.

A pre-requisite to channel the investment was positioning of Tamil Nadu as the global manufacturing base, which, in turn, would be possible by creating global-scale companies. Releasing the report, Mr. Nagenthran said as of February, there were 165 industrial projects in the pipeline or proposed by the Centre and the private sector in the seven districts at a total investment of about Rs.34,600 crores. Promising that the State Government would endeavour to expedite their implementation, he said that on completion of the projects the inter-district disparities would be removed.

On the manufacturing sector, he said the recent decision of Hyundai to establish a second car project, at the cost of Rs.2,200 crores, would give an impetus to the auto components industry.

Chennai was a competitive location in the compact car segment due to the lower costs of manufacture.

Listing the initiatives of Tamil Nadu to promote industrialisation, the Industries Secretary, Rameshram Mishra, said the State Government was committed to provide further stimulus to make the manufacturing sector globally competitive with due care to its environment and people. It was also keen on making some procedural simplification that the industry expected and suggestions in this regard were welcome.

T. Kannan, former chairman of the CII Southern Region and chairman of the task force that prepared the report, detailed the key findings of the study.

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