Industries Minister M.C. Sampath on Saturday said the Empowered Committee headed by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami issued clearances to 36 projects worth ₹15,000 crore in the last two meetings alone. These projects could provide employment opportunities to 23,000 people, he said.
Of the 304 MoUs signed during the Global Investors’ Meet 2019, as many as 59 projects have already begun production and 209 MoUs are in various stages of implementation, the Minister said while speaking at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Tamil Nadu State Annual Meeting 2019-20 and the Conference on Building Endurance in a Challenging Business Environment.
In his keynote address, Chief Secretary K. Shanmugam said new challenges such as digital technology, e-commerce, the need for upskilling the workforce and the issue of robots replacing humans had made everyone sit up and face them. He wanted the Indian industry to be globally competitive through the constant upgrading of skills, larger investment in research and development, implementation of a labour-oriented growth strategy and the promotion of cluster-based industrial development.
“Creating jobs is one of the key challenges, and the State government is trying to address the issue by focusing on emerging areas like fintech, data centres and electric vehicles, among others,” Industries Secretary N. Muruganandam said.
“We have the maximum number of engineering colleges and technical institutions [in the country], which churn out a large number of young graduates every year. The agriculture sector cannot absorb all of them. We need to bring in more industries which can employ youngsters. Otherwise, there will be a big problem of unemployment,,” he said. The government was focusing on initiatives like data centre parks, the Tamil Nadu Polymer Park, the e-vehicle park, the aerospace park and the medical park, among others, which can generate employment, he said.
He urged CII to conduct a study on the labour market in Tamil Nadu.
Another major challenge was ensuring water supply to industries, he said, and pointed to the State’s initiatives of setting up desalination and effluent treatment plants, besides restoring 250 waterbodies in industrial parks to address the issue.