Kerala LDF Government Emphasises on Strengthening Public Sectors, Lay Rs 10,000 crore Masterplan
kerala Industries Minister P Rajeev. Image Courtesy: Wikipedia
The left democratic front (LDF) government in Kerala continues to save and propel the public sector undertakings (PSUs), contrary to the policies followed by several state governments and the Union government.
In a step to diversify and expand the PSUs, the government has charted out a master plan of Rs 10,000 crore. The plan was prepared in consultation with the heads of PSUs, technical experts, trade unions and other stakeholders. The masterplan includes 405 projects in 41 PSUs in 7 sectors.
Despite being painted as anti-industrial, the state has made remarkable achievements in attracting investments from within and outside the country, leading to the creation of direct and indirect employment.
The LDF government has set an example of saving the PSUs from being shut down, with Hindustan Newsprint Limited (HNL) being restructured as Kerala Paper Products Limited (KPPL) being the recent example.
EXPANSION AND DIVERSIFICATION
The industries department has announced the master plan of Rs 10,000 crore to expand and diversify the PSUs. Addressing a B2B summit - Exploring Business Alliance between state and central PSUs in Kochi, the minister for industries, P Rajeev, informed that the government wants to compete at the global level through the PSUs.
“The government wants to protect and strengthen the PSUs. These organisations must be competitive and profit-making. The master plan has been adopted after consultations with leading experts, officials, trade unions and other stakeholders. The master plan aims to strengthen and diversify the PSUs in Kerala”, he said at the conference organised by the Public Sector Instructing and Internal Audit Board (RIAB).
The master plan aims to implement 405 projects in the 41 state-owned PSUs under seven sectors. Officials from 20 central PSUs were present, while top officials from the state PSUs presented their products.
Listing out some of the achievements of the state PSUs, the minister said, “The state PSUs, including Kerala Mines and are suppliers to the ISRO and DRDO, thus contributing to the defence and space sectors as well. We are looking for long-term association with industry and academia for better results,” Rajeev said.
Differing from the general call for the governments to stay away from business, the LDF government has created history by strengthening and expanding the PSUs. During the last fiscal, 20 of the 41 PSUs in Kerala made a profit, while the turnover in the current fiscal has increased.
“The turnover of the 41 PSUs has increased to Rs 3892.13 crore, registering an increase of 32.41% in the current financial year.
The operating profit has registered an increase of 108.65%,” Rajeev said.
He also pointed to the government of Kerala taking over the HNL, a central PSU which was closed for more than three years and renamed KPPL, beginning commercial production.
In an effort to create more enterprises and generate employment, the LDF government announced the financial year 2022-23 as the ‘Year of Enterprises,’ targeting 1 lakh enterprises.
“We want to have private investments for the state for employment. Within eight months, 1 lakh enterprises have been started, while the total number as on December 26 is 1,11,091 with an investment of Rs 6821.38 crore, generating 2,40,708 employments”, Rajeev said.
As per the website of the industries department, the total number of enterprises has increased to 1,14,334 units with an investment of Rs 6995.59 crore and 2,47,419 employment. Of the total units, women entrepreneurs number 36,330 and 9 transgender people.
The minister also pointed to the achievement of the state in the startup ecosystem, ranked highest in Asia by Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER). The state is also home to the largest startup incubator in the country.
“We have around 4000 startups and 600 accelerators and incubators. We want to strengthen the ecosystem further,” Rajeev said.
The government of Kerala aims to house 15,000 startups to create 2 lakh jobs, the chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in a recent event.
“The Kochi-Bengaluru industrial corridor, with an investment of Rs 10,000 crore in Palakkad alone and GIFT city in Kochi, expected to generate 1.2 lakh direct and 3.6 lakh indirect employment will boost growth,” Rajeev added.
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