Kerala plans to give more financial, functional autonomy to PSUs: Industries Minister P Rajeeve

Kerala is also preparing to come out with first of its kind policy to promote environmental social and governance (ESG).
Kerala Industries Minister P Rajeeve. (File photo | EPS)
Kerala Industries Minister P Rajeeve. (File photo | EPS)

KOCHI: Kerala Industries Minister P Rajeeve on Tuesday said that the state government will consider giving more financial and functional autonomy to Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) so these companies could turn competitive and profit-making.

He was speaking after inaugurating the B2B summit - Exploring Business Alliance - between state and central PSUs organised by Industrial Department at Kochi.

Rajeeve said that the state government's perspective is that PSUs should not function as government departments, they should be competitive and profit-making establishments.

He added that he had opportunities to interact with the heads of PSUs after taking charge of the ministry and while finalising the industrial policy for the state.

"We are formulating a master plan for every PSU in the state. We have categorised them into seven sectors. We will adopt the master plan after consultation with experts, trade unions and officers working with each unit. We have prepared an inclusive master plan of Rs 10,000 crores aiming at the diversification of PSUs in the state. There are 405 projects implemented in 41 PSUs. The masterplan envisages short, mid, and long-term goals for PSUs The masterplan focuses on building quality products," he said

Kerala is also preparing to come out with first of its kind policy to promote environmental social and governance (ESG). The new draft of industrial and commercial policy 2022 also emphasises ESG development.

"Some of the Central PSUs can act as an anchor for the growth of MSME and state PSUs here. We formed a committee to review the functioning of PSUs. The committee has submitted its report which recommended giving more financial and functional autonomy to PSUs. The government has decided to give more autonomy with accountability to these PSUs. We also adopted a report to categorise the PSUs," he said.

During the financial year 2021-22, the turnover of 41 PSUs under the industrial department was Rs 3892.13 crores. That was a rise of 52.41% in turnover while the profits increased by 105.68% compared to the 2020-21 financial year by PSUs. He claimed that for the first time in the history of the country, Hindustan Newsprint Limited (HNL) -- a central PSU that was shut down for more than three years was reopened with a long-time strategy.

Rajeeve said the key milestone under the industrial development aspiration of the state is the development of the Kochi-Bengaluru industrial corridor which is going to trigger economic growth and employment opportunities by stimulating investment in the manufacturing sector, agro-processing services and export-oriented units. The first phase is in Palakkad covering an area of 1,800 acres with an expected investment of Rs 10,000 crores. The land acquisition of the industrial corridor is complete. The Global Industrial Finance as Trade (GIFT) City is planned as an early bird project as part of the Kochi-Bengaluru industrial corridor. The project is estimated to generate around 1.2 lakhs direct and 3.6 lakhs indirect job opportunities boosting the state's economic growth significantly.

Last year Kerala's ranking in Ease of Doing Business was 28th. This year it was improved to 15th rank. "Now we have plans to strengthen the MSME sector in Kerala. Our goal was to establish one lakh enterprises in the current financial year. As part of promoting enterprises, we recruited, 1153 qualified persons and used them at local bodies- one for one panchayat, two for municipalities and one for 20 divisions of a Corporation. We could achieve the goal within eight months. Today as we complete eight months, and 26 days, the number of units started in the current financial year is 1,11,091. The investment made to the state is Rs 6828.38 crores. The employment generated is 2,40,708 from these enterprises. We have the plan to scale up at least 1000 MSMEs to achieve Rs 100 crore turnover companies within three years," he said.

Industries Principal Secretary APM Muhammad Hanish also spoke on the occasion. There were interactions between various Central PSUs and state PSUs as part of the programme. State PSUs also displayed their products and achievements as part of the programme.

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