Chennai: In a bid to turn the ‘Make in Tamil Nadu’ label into a prime attraction in the world markets, Chief Minister M K Stalin released a Footwear and Leather Products Policy on Tuesday, besides overseeing the signing of five memorandum of understanding (MoUs) that would bring an investment of Rs 2250 crore and 37,450 jobs to the State.
The newly launched policy was aimed at attracting an investment of 20,000 crore to generate 2 lakh jobs by the year 2025 and also enabling the State achieve its objective of becoming a trillion US $ economy by the year 2030-31, Stalin said on Tuesday, addressing the investors taking part in the footwear and leather sector conclave in person at Chennai and through video conference from around the world.
Organised by the Industries, Investment Promotion and Commerce Department, the event, presided by Stalin, saw international footwear makers and representatives of international footwear manufacturers’ associations discussing the market trends and the opportunities they threw up for new investments.
Speaking about the footwear manufacturing park coming up at Manapakkam in Ranipet district at a cost of Rs 400 crore on a 250 acre plot, opening opportunities for 20,000 jobs, he said the facility, once it was ready, would cut down on the need to import raw material for the industry from China as it would see the manufacturing of the raw materials in the park itself.
He said that his government promoted the footwear and leather products industry because it provided more jobs for the local people, particularly women who did not possess educational qualification beyond school final.
In the SEZ at Cheyyar that he had inaugurated in 2009, several companies had made investments to the tune of Rs 2000 crore, employing 35,000 persons, 70 percent of them women, and Taiwan’s Hong Fu had chosen Tamil Nadu for setting up its manufacturing unit by investing Rs 1000 crore and providing jobs for 25,000 persons.
Several companies were evincing interest in making investments in the STate because of the good governance provided by the DMK Government that had ensured that the State had climbed up the scales on the ease of doing business ranking, he said.
However, the government was keen that the investments flowing into the State were employment intensive, too, besides being on capital intensive high-tech industries, as all the State's planning would always be focused on generating new jobs, he said.
Job creation would lead to strengthening the State’s economic development and also improve the manufacturing ecosystem, he said adding that since the new industries were being set up in the backward districts it led to the enhancement of individual incomes and economic development of the regions, which was key to the Dravidian Model of governance.
The government was ready to come up with policies to suit to changing industrial environment as a couple of policies to increase production of textiles and apparels were on the anvil like the latest footwear and leather products policy for the State, which is the only one to implement the Zero Liquid Discharge regulation for tanneries and leather units, he said.
Stalin spoke about the government’s initiatives on promoting non-leather footwear production by developing an industrial park type of facility in a 30 to 50 acre land by SIPCOT or SIDCO with private partnership and said that the non-leather footwear, which now accounted for 70 per cent of the footwear made worldwide, would gain more popularity in the next 10 years, he said.
The new policy unveiled on Tuesday too gave importance to the non-leather footwear sector, keeping in line with its progressive steps taken to protect nature, he said, pointing to the modern trend among global footwear makers to come up with environmentally friendly products and also conserve natural resources as a duty and responsibility.