By Juhan Samuel ochi, Mar 19 : The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a Rs. 243 crore coir project which is expected to generate more than 60,000 jobs in the dying coir sector.
The highest ever central scheme for the coir sector was approved by the CCEA which met under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on March 7 for implementation by the Coir Board in the 11th Five-Year Plan.
The central scheme comprises two vital sectors that are at the lower most end of the coir manufacturing pyramid, the spinning and the tiny household segments. Around 4000 units of the spinning segment and 3200 units of the tiny and household segment will be covered under the scheme. This scheme is expected to generate employment for more than 60,800 workers, which include 36,800 new jobs and 24,000 existing ones, said T .C.Manikandan Pillai, the Public Relation Officer of Coir Board, Kerala. More than 50 percent of the scheme will encompass Kerala, where 85 percent of the total coir export production and 70 percent of the coir manufacturing facility in the country is situated. Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, North Eastern Region, Andamans and Lakshadeep are some of the other areas which will be covered under the scheme. For the spinning sector, the unit cost has been pegged at Rs. Two lakhs and for the tiny or household sector the unit cost is worked out as Rs Five lakhs. The scheme envisages augmenting the machine capacity by replacing existing dilapidated machines with modern ones, or putting up modern machinery with scaled up technology for new units. These new modern machines are power intensive, have higher capacity, contributing to higher volume growth and enhancing the rate of productivity. It also provides new employment opportunities. The infrastructural needs of the workers are taken care of by provision of funds for constructing pucca construction sheds for which amounts have been set apart in the outlay.