Pollachi: Town of Export Excellence?
The Coir Pith and Allied Products Manufacturers and Exporters Association – Pollachi has urged the Union Government to accord Town of Export Excellence (TEE) tag for Pollachi Town.
S. Mahesh Kumar, president of the association and a member of the Working Group Committee of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises – XII Five Year Plan, in a memorandum to the Chairman of the Coir Board, has said Pollachi’s products exceeded Rs. 250 crore by way of turnover. He said an Inland Container Depot, and a phyto sanitary certification lab should be set up there. Funds under the Assistance to States should be used to create infrastructure needed for exports.
Pollachi was a natural coir cluster for coir pith manufacturing and constituted 50 per cent of the volume of coir exports. The volume was growing at 20 per cent per annum. Mr. Mahesh Kumar said that 10,000 tonnes of coir goods valued at Rs. 10 crore was expoerted in 2002. Coir pith exports was expected to touch 5,00,000 tonnes and Rs. 600 crore by the end of the XII Plan. The coir pith sector was generating employment opportunities in rural areas and earns foreign exchange through exports.
The Government should protect this sector and preserve the traditional skills of artisans and workers.
Coir-based industries in medium scale category should be brought under the ambit of the Technology Upgradation Fund scheme.
The industry should be provided loan at 7 per cent interest, he added. Mr. Mahesh Kumar said more focus should be on coir pith industry, as it was consistently growing and accounts for 50 per cent of the coir export.
He called upon research organisations to develop new value added products out of coir for high end use.
EDITOR : Special Correspondent