THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Partial mechanisation will be introduced in the Khadi sector on an experimental basis, said Cooperation, Khadi and Village Industries minister C N Balakrishnan.
“The Khadi and Village Industries Commission does not support mechanisation in the sector. But the state will experiment with partial mechanisation for the welfare of workers and to increase productivity,” he told the Assembly on Thursday.
The minister said the turnover from the sector has touched Rs 46.15 crore during the present government’s tenure as against the Rs 27.05 crore figure during the LDF regime. The government sanctioned Rs 46.77 crore as rebate to boost the traditional industry which provides employment to 15,000 persons.The minister said the government spent Rs 1.49 crore to form a Khadi cluster comprising Thrissur, Ernakulam, Kottayam and Alappuzha and another one at a cost of Rs 2.50 crore.
Balakrishnan said fake Khadi products are a big threat to the industry. New designs and online marketing were introduced to revive the sector, he said. Efforts are on to link the MGNREGS project with the sector.
Industries Minister P K Kunhalikutty said the government owes Rs 45.88 crore to Akshaya entrepreneurs.
Urban Affairs Minister Manjalamkuzhi Ali said 10,077 illegal constructions were identified in the corporations and municipalities.
V S Sunilkumar demanded a Vigilance probe into the alleged corruption in the handbook for higher secondary teachers. Education Minister P K Abdu Rabb said a probe would be ordered if a written complaint is received.
The minister said the two bidders for textbook printing were Solar Offset and Manipal Technologies. Though Solar quoted Rs 23 lakh less than Manipal Technologies the former was rejected for violating a contract in the past. “The issue was left to the Department Purchase Committee which decided to award the work to Manipal Technologies at the rate quoted by Solar Offset on July 8. The firm was asked to complete the works in 10 days,” he said.