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Apr 3, 2009

CII Plans more SME clusters

The Confederation of Indian Industry, southern region, plans to start small and medium enterprises (SME) cluster programme in six places this year.The newly-elected chairman for the region, C.R. Swaminathan, told presspersons here on Wednesday that the confederation had implemented eight SME clusters, involving 63 companies. Three more were going on. Apart from these, the project would be launched in Kottayam, Puducherry, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Salem and Bangalore this year.

The focus would be on total cost and energy management and manufacturing excellence in these clusters. The CII already had an overseas business promotion programme for micro, small and medium enterprises.He said the theme for the region this year was “South India at 75: economy, infrastructure and governance”.

The economic slowdown had affected almost all the sectors. It was important to improve the economy now. The country also had to improve infrastructure. The CII planned to bring out a draft on good governance in businesses. This would be submitted to the government and circulated to the members too.

The CII had identified 17 districts for its District Development Plan.The focus in these districts under the programme would be on agriculture, skill development, identity, infrastructure, business, science and technology, entrepreneurship, moral leadership and environment. The districts to be covered in Tamil Nadu were Chennai, Coimbatore, Erode, Karur, Tiruchi and Madurai.

The CII would continue to focus on development in Tier-II and Tier-III towns. It proposes to promote Hosur, Salem, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Kottayam and Belgaum as designations for investments this year.Mr. Swaminathan added that the CII had adopted 35 Industrial Training Institutes and planned to upgrade another 50 this year. It had released a bluebook and operating manual for the institutes. Over 50,000 candidates were assessed in skills through modular employable skills.

It had also developed short-term vocational training modules in 24 sectors with 231 trades to offer pre-employment training.The CII had signed agreement with three universities for its university – industry consortium programme. It planned to impart soft skill training to 5,000 faculty members through this.

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