In an exclusive interaction with SupportBiz, Manimaran said the training centre will cover programs for all industrial activities in the region. The training program, aimed to build a young workforce and to retain the existing one, will be free of cost. Candidates will be placed right after the 1-3 month long training session in various industrial units in Madurai. The association also plans to take extra measures to stop relocation of workforce to other cities.
Repeating its long-term request, MADITSSIA once again raised its demand to the financial ministry to increase the Central Excise Tax exemption limit for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from the existing Rs 1.5 crore to Rs 5 crore. “The 1.5 core limit was brought in when Pranab Mukerjee was the finance minister 8 years ago, and sadly it remains the same even today. The limit remains the same even as there is nearly 300% increase in raw material prices,” Manimaran said.
Madurai closely has about 35000 SME units, generating revenue of about Rs 250-300 cores in a month. Textiles, rubber and food products are the major industries in the region. Although a major industrial hub in South India, SMEs in Madurai have been affected by the common industrial issues in the state, especially the intermittent power interruption. In addition to the power shortage, global recession and raw material price hike has forced closure of nearly 300-400 units in the last couple of years. Hundreds of other units today live in the fear of falling under the dreadful Non-Performing Assets (NPA) category. “Steady increase of raw material prices has also been a major issue in the region. The iron raw material prices have rose to Rs 40-50/kg from Rs 15-16 in the last six years. The free inflow of Chinese products to the Indian market also makes a negative impact on the SME units in Madurai,” he said.
“Unlike the corporate bodies in India, MSME industry does not have any lobbying power. Every year, we submit our memorandum to the MSME secretary which they forward it to the finance ministry. However, the finance ministry fails to take any action on our demands,” Manimaran said. He also accused the Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, who hails from one of Madurai's neighboring district, of refusing to meet the association representatives for the last five years.