–M.A. Kharabela Swain
The perception towards the cost and quality has undergone a sea change. In a globalized world, quality is the key factor which sells the items. Because of very stiff competition across the world, good quality along with the competitive pricing keeps the productssaleable. With the economic condition of the people improving all over the world, cheap items with low quality would not sale.
Can Odisha be made a manufacturing hub of atleast smaller things;even though most of the industries, those who come here, setup mineral based factories only?True,minerals are available in abundance here. Let us take the example of China. Itlacks most of the minerals .But it manufactures for export.And mostly they are smaller items. 52% of its GDP there come from export of manufactured items. Of course, these small and manufactured items do not come from small scale industries. The large industries in Chinado produce smaller items in huge quality thus bringing down the cost of production and improving the quality of production.
Odisha can certainly follow such path with proper motivation and facilities. In the early 80s the only industrial vision was propounded by the government of Odisha led by the then Chief Minister LateJanakiBallavPattanayak; which expounded the theory of ‘1000 industries in 1000 days by investing 1000cr’.It did not succeed as per expectation, because of various reasons like non-prevalence of industrial attitude among the Odiafamilies,lack of industrial motivation, proper skill and existence of a corrupt environment etc.But however, it setup industrial hubs in Odisha. Atleast some Odias became entrepreneurs.
Now, learning from the past mistakes, Odisha can become a manufacturing hub; if there is a political will and required motivation. An atmosphere must be created by the state govt. which will stimulate the entrepreneurs’ mind that the government is prepared to extend all facilities to the new entrepreneurs must be inculcated intheir mind. Basically, the case of doing business index should be high while registering a new unit, allowing quick permission for the construction, provision of quality infrastructure in shape of good roads, quality power supply, waterprovision, sanction of all governmental permission at a quick date, availability of credit at a reasonable rate of interest, skill developmental scheme, early exit policy etc.
Odisha has a lot to develop in the activities like food processing units, stonework, ruralartisanship,steel equipment,genuine medicine,hand crafted products from grass etc.and these items must be produced in clusters promoted in various parts of the state.A cluster approach provide mutual help to units producing almost the same items and ancillary units can be developed along with. Trainingon packaging for export is a must for these items abroad where it is a key item of acceptance.Very good quality products with poor packaging would instantly be rejected there.Producing and selling a range of related and complimentary product and services in a cluster would definitely bring down the cost of production and felicitate competition in improving quality.Testing centres for quality certifications must also be available at hand.In a globalized world quality is the key factor which would sale the item.Because of very stiff competition from all over the world, good quality along with the competitive pricing would keep the product saleable. With the economic condition of the people improving all over the world, cheap items with low quality would not sale.The perception towards the cost and quality has undergone a sea change.
Along withthe above items,Odisha could also be a FMGC manufacturing place; if infrastructural growth is provided.Also there is a very good scope of developing agro-based industries since public mindset is drawn towards the same.So the entrepreneurship development which includes the motivational aspect about industry will play a very important role.Development of the industrial state with all infrastructural facilities like roads,power connection, internetconnectivity, common facilitation centres and testing labs must be made available which would greatly draw the first generationentrepreneurs towards the concept of industry.
Aprogressive credit support is the single most important measure to draw anybody from the first generationentrepreneurs toward setting of Industries.Hence,credit at a cheaper rate is a must.The priority sector lending is mandatory to be made by the nationalised banks.And here, while non-repayment of loan instalments in time lead to payment of higher rate of interest,in a similar vein,delayed release of credit by the banks must involve payment of penalty by the banks.There must beaneasy and comprehensive exit policy for an entrepreneur.An industry must not be a rope in one’s neck, which he cannot dispose of, if required.In the name of the interest of the labour, an entrepreneur must not be bound by the sinking industry for the entire life.And the bank must adhere to the ‘one time settlement’ norm while dealing with NPA of the sick industries.
Marketingof the products has become the biggest bottleneck for an entrepreneur, since like production, it does not rest in his hands.Here,lies the involvement of the Government.With regard to market development assistance for marketing development,publicity,marketstudy, adoption ofmarketing practices etc. must be taught and facilitated.The entrepreneurs should be helped to participate in the trade fairs and exhibitions nationally and also internationally. If they are allowed and propelled to participate in the international cooperative programs, they would learn a lot about latest technology,manufacturing practises relevant in different countries.
Theentrepreneurs must be taught about the skill of decision making,management, access to modern technology. The new generation entrepreneurs suffer from poor project planning,managerial inadequacies.Most of the time they are being provided with old and orthodox designs.They also face a very high degree of obsolesce with regard to machinery and technology, so that they are left behind.Along with facing the problem of inadequate skilled manpower and inadequate creditassistance, they face the acute problem of organised marketing.And the promised raw materials also do notarrivein time. The machinery and equipment also get delayed to arrive in time. They must be helped in this regard. Entrepreneurs must be helped legally like in case of contract enforcement. There must be legal and regulatory framework available for that. And they must be helped in recovering their dues. Recovery mechanism must also be available for that.
The biggest bottleneck perceptionally and practically is the environment of red tape leading to bribery and corruption. The existence of very high number of concerns and their running for most of the governmental assistances endlessly do not encourage any genuine entrepreneur to venture into this sphere. It must be understood that the manufacturing concept of Odisha can only start from the local entrepreneurs, since they cannot go for heavy mineral-based industries. Andhra Pradesh, which was encountering extreme poverty about thirty years back with a host of rickshaw-pullers notched up its fortunes substantially only because of creating an army of local small entrepreneurs putting a hand into agro-based industries. The experience and success there created most of the best engineering farms. Also, it led to great agro-based economic recovery there, which was unimaginable. Andhra’s economic future was not brought about by heavy industrialisation. A culture of production-based small industries mostly basing upon agro items brought this miracle. Odisha can replicate it. Odisha can initially make it a hub of productive items. But, the above assistances and facilities must be provided. The bureaucratic perception that the entrepreneurs here are coming forward to swindle the government fund must be erased. And that could be done only by strong-willed political leadership. Bureaucrats never lead a nation. With a very negative mind-set, all the time they pull the leg of the nation. That must be prevented.
Shri M.A. Kharabela Swain is the Former Member of Parliament (LokSabha) and President, Utkal Bharat.