KOCHI: Minister E P Jayarajan said on Sunday that the state government is planning to create more opportunities for the furniture industry in Ernakulam by setting up a Special Economic Zone.
Jayarajan was speaking at the inauguration of International Furniture Expo 2019 organised by Furniture Manufacturers and Merchants Welfare Association (Fumma) at Angamaly.
“A recent study by the Department of Industries’ recent study has shown a projection of 11.32 per cent growth between 2018 and 2023 in the furniture industry. We can rely on new scientific methods and traditional woodworkers to bring the industry forward,” he said.
The minister also agreed on challenges raised by the industrialists and promised the government’s support in addressing them. “Several norms by forest department hinder the free flow of timber to the industry. Unavailability of raw materials can be tackled if industry players come out to plant teak saplings across the state. Besides, the government will ensure insurance coverage for workers and exempt any interest on loans taken by the merchants from Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC),” he said.
He also added that according to World Bank statistics, Indian furniture industry will cross a revenue of `2.27 lakh crore in 2019. “The Indian furniture industry is expecting 15 per cent growth in the current financial year. As the industry itself houses around 5,000 units, more than 1.3 crore job opportunities are available in the sector.” The exhibition comprising 680 stalls will conclude on Monday.
Industrial parks in every district
Jayarajan revealed that the government has directed Kinfra to allocate 100 acres of land in every district for setting up industrial parks. “We have decided to launch coconut parks in Kozhikode and Kannur,” he added.