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MSMEs see robust growth in Kerala

The state which has some limitations in promoting big-ticket industries has played a major role in boosting the MSME sector. The highest number of MSME units was registered in agriculture, food, service and textile sectors. Thiruvananthapuram and Kannur have the highest number of MSMEs in the textile sector, while Kochi leads in the food and services sectors. The agriculture, food-based and services sectors saw the registration of 18,648 MSME units in the last three years. There has also been substantial growth in the general engineering sector with units registering for the manufacturing of shutters and grills.

Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector in Kerala has seen a robust growth despite global economic crisis, Industries and IT Minister Shri P K Kunhalikutty said today.

He was speaking at a function after launching the logo of the upcoming Machinery Expo, which aims to bring technology and machinery from around the country to improve productivity in the state MSME sector.

"There has been a healthy turnaround in the attitude that you cannot start an enterprise in Kerala. There are lots of success stories, and though the textile and cashew industries survive on government support, this sector has seen good growth," Kunhalikutty said.

Organised by the Department of Industries and Commerce, the Expo will be held at the ADLUX Convention Centre in Angamali, Ernakulam, from January 27 to 30.

It will be a one-stop destination to display technologies and solutions to further boost the state's MSME sector, which has shown stable growth.

The machinery exhibition will feature exhibitors from catering to various industrial sectors, including food processing, garments, rubber and plastics, wood-based industries, Ayurveda and Herbal, Electrical and electronics, handicrafts, handloom and textiles, printing and packaging, general engineering and automobile servicing.

While there have been similar exhibitions at the district level, this is the first state-level machinery expo, organisers said.

"MSME, which are mainly one-man management setups find it difficult to travel to find the right equipment. This expo brings technology and equipment to the doorstep of the entrepreneurs in the state," Industries Principal Secretary Shri P H Kurian said.

According to figures, Kerala has recorded consistent growth in the MSME sector with a 15 per cent increase of 13,043 units in 2012-13 to 14,997 units in 2013-14. This has shown a further 3 per cent upward trend in 2014-15, with a total of 15,455 units.

This has seen a subsequent increase in investment from 20 per cent increase in 2013-14 to 17 per cent rise this year. While employment rates saw a seven per cent increase in 2013-14, there has been a 19 per cent rise in 2014-15, with 83,515 jobs generated.

The sector, significant for capacitating inclusive growth, has been a significant generator of employment in Kerala with 33.2 lakh jobs, putting it ahead of any other state.

The state has an exemplary record in the MSME cluster development programme with projects worth Rs 34.2 crore via eight commissioned projects receiving approval.

Apart from this six MSME projects worth Rs 51.66 crore, undertaken with Central assistance, has also been approved.

Director of Industries & Commerce P M Francis, Kerala Small Scale Industries Association State President K P Ramachandran Nair and Handloom and Textiles Director Sam C Ittycheria were also present during the function.