The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Biotech to boost SSI growth

New Delhi, Aug. 26 (PTI): The government has identified the biotechnology sector as a major thrust area for growth of the small scale sector during the Tenth Five Year Plan period.

“We have recently set up a cell with the department of biotechnology to help identify areas of growth in the sector for SSI. The cell will be used to disseminate information about the avenues in areas such as tissue culture, diagnostic research, tools and instruments,” said Ashok Pradhan, secretary, ministry of SSI.

Pradhan said a recent study on the biotechnology sector commissioned by the ministry had suggested that from the point of view of SMEs (small and medium enterprise), development of microbial biotechnology sub-sector should get special attention and treatment.

The study, carried out by Cochin-based Institute of Small Enterprise Development (ISED), has also mooted setting up of a task force to look into the opportunities of nurturing first-generation entrepreneurship in the sub-sector. In addition to this, it also suggested exploring the possibilities of sub- contracting and vendor development through collaboration with organisations like Unido (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation).

“Contrary to popular perception, biotechnology is not a capital intensive sector and there is a huge potential for the small and marginal farmers in the rural sector,” he said adding the SSI ministry would work with the department of biotechnology to identify areas of growth.

Pradhan said the ministry has already identified toys, machine tools and locks as areas of special focus and formulated national programme for each of these sectors.

The toy sector has also been selected as the central theme for the national convention of the SSI to be held later this week, he said. The ministry has sought fiscal incentives from the finance ministry to boost exports of the sector which currently had a mere 0.4 per cent share of the $ 73-billion global toy market.

Pradhan said the ministry had in collaboration with Unido launched a national programme for the development of the toy industry in September 2000.

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