LEIP: Developing a Stronger Light Engineering Sector

Kerala’s Light Engineering sector has traditionally been a very strong performer. The consistent government policy of encouraging the industry has paid off richly and today Kerala is home to highly successful companies like Tyco Electronics, SFO Technologies Pvt Ltd, OEN Connectors Ltd, Sun Fibre Optics (Nest), Guardian Controls and CII Guardian. These companies, with their range of products, have ensured that the `Made in Kerala’ brand has become synonymous with quality and reliability.
Light Engineering Industrial Park (LEIP): A Bright Future
The Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) has played a stellar role in the setting up and encouragement of the light engineering sector in Kerala. The organisation has nurtured several companies during their initial growth phase. Today, these companies are identified as suppliers of products to global majors.
The organisation, backed by the state government, is now in the midst of giving a further thrust to the development of light engineering industries in Kerala. Critical to its plans, is the setting up of the Light Engineering Industrial Park (LEIP) at Palakkad. Located 22 km away from Palakkad, the park will provide complete infrastructure to companies setting up their plants here. This includes compound wall, internal roads, power and water. The plot sizes (minimum of 25 cents) will be allotted on lease for light engineering industrial units. The Park has an excellent locational advantage as it is located on the Palakkad Walayar National Highway at a distance of 5 Km from Walayar.
Advantages of a Stronger Light Engineering Sector
The setting up of a strong light engineering base in Kerala will have positive repercussions for the state’s economy as well as its environment. In its report, `Vision 2025 for State of Kerala’, the CII Kerala State Council has pointed out that focusing on the light engineering sector is a good way of ensuring that Kerala lives up to its endeavour to promote a green economy. Light engineering industries are traditionally non-polluting industries. Also, land is at a premium in Kerala and light engineering industries do not add pressure to land.
Secondly, light engineering sector is a highly labour intensive industry. It therefore has the ability to absorb the huge pool of technically trained youngsters graduating from Kerala’s technological institutes every year. The state’s skilled and semi-skilled labour force will have greater employment opportunities.
The development of the light engineering sector will also help speed up the pace of growth of the manufacturing sector in Kerala. This is because its products are vital for manufacturing various final products. The support of a vibrant light engineering sector can therefore be expected to provide greater vitality to both heavy & medium engineering industries as well as the infrastructure sector.
Light engineering goods constitute a significant share of India’s exports. The state government’s policy of encouraging this sector should thus pay rich dividends to the people of Kerala in terms of employment, revenue and environment.