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Andhra Pradesh - Visakhapatnam Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Survey of sick SSI units concludes

By Shakeel M. Rasheed

VISAKHAPATNAM: The State Government has wrapped up the survey of sick units in the Small Scale Industry (SSI) sector, paving the way for what is believed to be a suitable policy for their revival.

The response to the survey in Vizag has not been of the expected level, with only 200-odd entrepreneurs among an estimated 3,643 SSI units identified as `closed' responding to the questionnaire distributed among sick SSI units.

Sources in the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Technological Consultancy Organisation (APITCO), which is undertaking the survey jointly with the Commissionerate of Industries, disclosed that the two agencies could have done with better response from the entrepreneurs, but would now have to make do with whatever feedback obtained.

APITCO has planned beefing up the feedback with a direct interaction with the association representing the SSIs in the district before meeting the July-end deadline to submit its findings to the Government.

The objective of the survey is to assess the extent of sickness in the SSI sector and evaluate the assistance envisaged by entrepreneurs for helping the State Government to explore the possibilities of putting their units back on rails. The questionnaire given to the entrepreneurs elicited details of their units, causes of sickness and the revival measures sought by them. The sources pointed out that much of the response to the survey in the district was from tiny and small units, promoters of industries with Rs. 5 lakhs and above capital investment not pitching in encouragingly. Majority of the units in the SSI sector in the district are said to be with below Rs. 1 lakh capital investment.

A preliminary examination of the feedback, the sources said, has most entrepreneurs citing lack of working capital and high interest rates on loans as the major factors for the closure of their units.

While different agencies have been identified for the survey State-wide, APITCO is undertaking the job in 12 districts, including Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam.

As per the third All-India Industrial Census, 38,797 SSI/tiny units are closed in Andhra Pradesh, prompting the State Government to undertake a campaign for their revival. The results of the ongoing survey are not only expected to lead to revival proposals for the sick units, but mentoring services for them up to three years.

The State Government, which has announced that developing the SSI sector and reviving sick and incipient units was accorded the `highest priority', has sought a set of `special incentives' from the Centre at the recent conference of Ministers on SSIs at Delhi.

The proposals seek a 10 per cent interest rebate for revival of sick units for five years in 1:1 ratio by the Centre and State Government, power rebate for five years from the date of rehabilitation and the differential amount above Rs. 1.50 per unit to be again met in 1:1 ratio, rescheduling of term loans and working capital and waiver of penal interest by banks and financial institutions.

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