In big support to MSMEs in the State, the Kerala Government will facilitate free consultancy on cost and management accounting to such ventures to curtail their mortality rate, Industries Minister P. Rajeev has said.

As part of this scheme, the Directorate of Industries and Commerce is roping in the services of the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICWAI) from FY24, he said after inaugurating the State’s first Enterprise Development Centre (EDC).

“To begin with, 300 MSMEs will benefit from the scheme,” Rajeeve said, announcing the opening of EDC under the government-run Kerala Institute for Entrepreneurship Development (KIED).

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Though the mortality rate of Kerala’s MSMEs is less than the national average of 30 per cent, the government is keen to fully avoid premature closure of such units by extending all support, he said.

Rajeeve also announced the formal launch of KIED’s Business Growth Programme that aims to accelerate MSME growth in the State by supporting their expansions and financing innovations. Applications can be made at under the six-month programme for MSME units that have been operational for less than ten years and are in the manufacturing sector or are providing specialised services to MSMEs. They should have an annual turnover of between ₹35 lakh and ₹50 crore.

The Minister, while stressing the need for translating the results of research projects into marketable products, said the country has recently been witnessing a change in thrust areas that support industries. “Much of the thrust during the last three decades was on IT. The next 30 years, it is going to be biotechnology,” he said.

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The government is going ahead with plans to strengthen the industry-academia link by setting up industrial parks close to universities and other higher education institutions. Such collaborations will boost the commercial application of research and development projects in institutions of excellence, the Minister pointed out.

Referring to the strides made by the State to emerge as an investor-friendly destination in recent times through concerted efforts, the Minister said Kerala aims to get into the top ten ranks in Ease of Doing Business at the national level next year. Currently, Kerala stands at 15, which has been an improvement from 28, a year ago.

The government’s initiatives under the ‘Year of Enterprises’ project are set to earn the State 1.5 lakh MSMEs in the current fiscal, he added.