Our Bureau

Hyderabad, Feb.23

Barely 278 units of the 38,797 small scale units in Andhra Pradesh that have been reported sick have been revived, according to the State Major Industries Minister, Mrs J. Geetha Reddy.

Answering queries in the State Assembly on Thursday, Mrs Reddy said the State Government had introduced a scheme for revival of sick small scale units and non-BIFR units as per the orders passed in 2001.

The Government had also earmarked Rs.3 crore to initiate a comprehensive study to assess the problems and prospects of sick industries.

Referring to special economic zones (SEZs), Mrs Reddy said new SEZs are being established under the Government of India SEZ Act, 2005, and a Bill facilitating this has been passed and is awaiting Presidential assent.

There was a furore in the State Assembly when the State Minister quoted an old government order, to site steps taken for its revival of sick units. The entire Opposition was up on its feet questioning the steps taken by the State Government. Unsatisfied with the replies, several political parties including the TDP, MIM, CPM, BJP and TRS walked out of the Assembly.

Later, replying to the question, the Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, intervened to say that the Government efforts to attract new investments have begun to bear results and this can be gauged from the fact that two oil refineries, one of ONGC and the other of HPCL, a semiconductor fab unit, a manufacturing base for Adidas and the second phase of expansion of Vizag Steel Plant have been initiated by the State. The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, will visit the State to inaugurate the expansion of the Vizag Steel Plant.

Dr Reddy said all efforts have been initiated to ensure that more investments come to the State. These include power at lower tariffs for industrial segment users and good support infrastructure.

Earlier, the Opposition political parties cited the Congress election manifesto and its promise to revive sick industrial units, and maintained that hardly anything had been done to address this important issue which has rendered lakhs of people jobless in the State. Unhappy over the reply, representatives from several parties walked out of the Assembly.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 24, 2006)
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