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CII to promote clusters in small-scale sector

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Outlines initiatives to address Southern States' requirements

STATES-FRIENDLY: Mr M. Lakshminarayan (right), Chairman, CII-Southern Region and Joint Managing Director, Motor Industries Co Ltd, and Mr P.K. Mohapatra, Deputy Chairman, CII-Southern Region and President and Chief Executive (Technology Business), RPG Enterprises, at a press conference in Chennai on Monday. — Bijoy Ghosh

Chennai , June 5

Expanding cluster concept in small-scale sector, encouraging public private partnerships in infrastructure projects, extending industrial development to smaller towns and cities are some initiatives that the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) - Southern Region is looking at for the coming year.

Elaborating on the confederation's theme for 2006-07 — competitiveness through innovative, inclusive and sustainable growth — the CII's Chairman - Southern Region, Mr M. Lakshminarayan, said the objective of encouraging clusters in small-scale sector is to enhance competitiveness.

By introducing concepts of cost management, energy management and manufacturing excellence through the cluster programme, over 60 companies under six clusters have benefited. Five more clusters are in the pipeline including in Bangalore and Hosur, he said.

Meeting States' needs

The CII is looking at the specific requirements of the individual States in the South.

In Bangalore, the effort is to develop its potential as a hub for aerospace industries - not just IT - which represent Rs 30,000-crore business and development of North Karnataka is also being studied.

Studies are on to exploit the full potential in agri- and food-processing industries in Kerala. A cluster for plywood and rubber products is also being explored.

Mr P.K. Mohapatra, Deputy Chairman, CII - Southern Region, said in Tamil Nadu the confederation would continue to push for early implementation of value-added tax, establishment of special economic zones in smaller cities such as Madurai, Coimbatore and Tiruchi, human resource development and setting up large power generation projects.

The CII would also look at development of leather industry in the small and medium sector, Mr Mohapatra said.

Mr Lakshminarayan said the confederation is launching a programme to support 5,000 economically challenged youth employable by 2007.

Its theme for the year also covers areas of environment and social responsibility and inclusive growth. It has programmes on HIV/AIDS, women empowerment, promoting Self Help Groups and environment conservation.

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