VISAKHAPATNAM, DEC 10: The big public sector units in the city, especially Visakhapatnam steel plant, should extend a helping hand to the local micro, small-scale and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to achieve employment generation and economic progress, according to Ch. Ayyanna Patrudu, the state Panchayat Raj Minister.

He was speaking here in the autonagar industrial estate on Friday after inaugurating the three-day MSME Expo - 2016, a national vendor development programme and industrial exhibition in addition to a buyer-seller meet.

The minister said the state government was helping the Visakhapatnam steel plant in every way possible and therefore "it is the responsibility of the RINL officials to hand-hold the local MSMEs and go to their rescue. The components required by the steel plant should be sourced locally to the extent possible. Only if it is not locally available, should they go to other states."

He said the other PSUs including Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL), BHEL-BHPV, and others should also do their best to help the local MSMEs.

Earlier, A.K Balaji, president of the Visakha Autonagar Small-scale Industries' Association, and Ch. Satyanarayana, Secretary, said there was very little help from the bigger PSU units to the local MSMEs. The PSUs were meeting the statutory requirement of sourcing 20 per cent of their needs from MSMEs but most of the MSMEs belonged to the other states and the local MSMEs were left high and dry.

Commercial banks were also not coming forward to give term loans or short-term loans to meet working capital needs of the MSMEs and there should be greater financial assistance. Skill development centres should be set up in the industrial estates or in their vicinity, they pleaded.

D. Venkateswarlu, the regional director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, and K.R.K Prasad, the Director (MSME Institute), also spoke.

Source: thehindubusinessline.com