An exhibition centre for industries will be set up in Kakkanad in two years, said Industries Minister P. Rajeeve. Speaking at the World SMEs Day celebrations on Sunday, the minister said that the facility with all the latest facilities for industrial units to interact at various levels with its partners would be ready at an estimated cost of ₹30 crore.
Initially the project was conceived as a much grander one but the current COVID-19 crisis has prompted the government to go in for a project that can be speeded up and be ready quickly to serve the interests of the industrial units in the state. He said that the COVID-19 crisis had created a difficult situation for the SMEs and the industrial sector as a whole.
He also said that a grievance redressal system for the industrial sector with legal backing will be in place in the State soon. The three-member committee, headed by K. Ellangovan, principal secretary, industries, tasked to prepare the blueprint for a statutory system, had already prepared a draft, which was now under legal examination. Once the draft undergoes the legal examination, it will come up for perusal by the state Cabinet before a legislation is enacted to establish the system.
The minister said that the grievance redressal mechanism would be a major step towards improving the investment climate in the state. The effort of the government is to improve the state’s ranking in terms of ease of doing business. There are around 1.43 lakh micro, small and medium enterprises in the state, which are employing around nine lakh people.
Mr. Ellangovan said that the SMEs in Kerala, especially in sectors like food processing, information technology, engineering and space had deployed the latest technological innovations and were churning out value-added products. He said SMEs were being celebrated because, according to global accounts, these units accounted for about 90 per cent of all the industries and 70 percent of the employment. They also contributed 50 per cent of the global GDP. In Kerala too, SMEs accounted for about 90 per cent of the industrial units, playing a big role in the economy.