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Small units in Cuddalore face touch-and-go situation

A.V.Ragunathan

CUDDALORE: Micro and small enterprises in Cuddalore district are placed in a disadvantaged position vis-à-vis their counterparts in Puducherry.

The reasons are extended power cuts, higher tariff structure, and, above all, disincentive to own captive power units, according to G.Ramalingam, secretary of the Micro and Small Enterprises Association of Cuddalore District.

He told The Hindu that the Puducherry units were not dogged by the problem of load-shedding and, moreover, the power tariff was Rs. 3.50 per unit as against Rs 5.50 per unit in Tamil Nadu.

Such a situation had denied a level-playing field to Cuddalore entrepreneurs, thereby making them to lose out to the Puducherry competitors in terms of price, production and productivity factors.

Mr Ramalingam said that the precarious power situation had either forced the small units in the district to close down or cut down the production or to migrate to other places. In Cuddalore district there were at least 10,000 registered small units and several other unregistered units, with a total workforce exceeding one lakh.

Mr Ramalingam said that because the three-hour load-shedding in force (from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in turns) the labourers would have to be kept idle for the duration but they would have to be paid full wages.

If the production process was halted abruptly due to hiccups in power supply, the quality of products would suffer, besides inflicting heavy material losses .

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