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Captains of industries outline measures to rebuild a stronger State economy

G Balachandar Chennai | Updated on May 15, 2020

Edappadi K Palaniswami   -  THE HINDU

In an interaction between the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister with leading industrialists in the State, there was optimism on rebuilding the State’s economy amid continuing fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

In a webinar on “Reviving Tamil Nadu’s Economy”, organised by Chennai International Centre, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami outlined various measures taken by the State government for the restart of industrial operations with Covid-19 norms, support to MSMEs and attracting new investments as a consequence of global supply chain realignment.

The State government has earmarked ₹200 crore for extending collateral-free loans to MSMEs and so far 799 MSMEs units have a taken a loan of ₹102 crore. Also, further measures are being worked out. “To attract the companies that are moving out of China, we have constituted a special team under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary and members comprising officials from companies of Japan, Korea, Singapore, US and Taiwan, while a former RBI governor Rangarajan-led committee is working on measures to rebuild the State economy post-Covid,” the Chief Minister said.

Chief Secretary K Shanmugam allayed the fears of industry relating to norms on the shop floor. He asserted that officials would not force complete shut down of the unit if an employee tested positive. “Our idea is production should continue with alternative staff and only that particular section should be avoided for use. Industries need not fear shut down of manufacturing,” he added.

Venu Srinivasan, Chairman of TVS Motor Company suggested that there was a need to create a much better social infrastructure in Chennai in order to attract and retain mid-level engineers and professionals.

He also felt new industrial townships near Coimbatore and in an area between Tiruchi and Madurai should be developed in order to attract upcoming new investments.

B Santhanam, Chairman & Managing Director, Saint-Gobain India, said Tamil Nadu accounted for about 20 per cent MSMEs and the State government should ensure that ₹80,000 crore, the share of ₹4 lakh crore support for all India MSMEs, flowed to MSMEs in the state. A task force in mission mode should be set up to achieve this in the next 90 days,” he added,

He said strong support to the construction segment by removing restrictions will result in huge job creation and revenue flow to the State government. “We must target 5 million homes in 5 years to attract about ₹7.5 lakh crore,” he added.

Santhanam and Jayram Varadaraj, Managing Director, Elgi Equipments Ltd felt migrant labour had a big role in the development of the manufacturing sector in the State and measures needed to ensure that Tamil Nadu should become a natural place to come, work and live here.

Since most of the migrants prefer Tamil Nadu, the state should become a home for them,” said Varadaraj.

Josh Foulger, Country Head & Managing Director, Flextronics International Holdings felt there should be a ‘Make in Tamil Nadu’ with some ready-built-infrastructure for the electronic companies to come and set up shop.

Representatives of various industry associations also participated in the interaction and registered their demands for the government’s support.

Published on May 15, 2020

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