Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 20: Public sector enterprises in the state are a symbol of resilience with the will to overcome the Covid pandemic. 15 Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) registered a profit during the 2019-20 financial year. These PSUs under the Industries Department had a turnover of Rs. 3,149 crores during this period.
Kerala State Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited: Kalavoor based Kerala State Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited (KSDP) is at the forefront. KSDP achieved a record profit of Rs 7.13 crores in 2019-20 with a turnover of Rs 100 crores. The company focused on the manufacture of sanitisers during the first phase of Covid outbreak in the State. It played a crucial role in keeping the price of sanitisers low through their market intervention. KSDP also distributed sanitisers during local elections and when schools reopened. Construction of Swab Collection Exam Booth, Swab Collection Booth, Easy Isolate System and Face Mask Disposal Bin was also started for Covid diagnosis. The company, which used to manufacture only Paracetamol, now manufactures antibiotics, injectable drugs and post-transplant drugs.
Travancore Titanium Products Limited: As part of the ‘Break the Chain’ campaign, Travancore Titanium Products (TTP) was involved in Covid preventive measures with the production of low-cost hand sanitisers. Hand sanitiser, liquid soap and toilet cleaner are marketed under the name ‘Ti-Secure’ using an indigenously developed technology. The hand sanitiser plant has been set up at TTP with a production capacity of up to 5,000 litres per day. Blocks made using red gypsum, a by-product of the company, and used against sea erosion offers a lot of possibilities. Efforts are on to develop them in a way that it will be useful for building railway platforms, roads and houses.
Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited: Chavara based Kerala Minerals and Metals Limited (KMML) has envisioned a long-term plan to make further gains through modernisation. The company has implemented an innovative system called ‘Froth Floatation’, which separates minerals from black sand. With the commissioning of the new oxygen plant at KMML with a production capacity of 70 tonnes, the huge cost of procuring oxygen from outside has been avoided. The medical oxygen supply was also possible and this brought great relief to the health sector during the Covid season. Permission was granted to remove sand from Thottapalli to find the raw material mineral sand. This was a crucial decision to alleviate the shortage of raw materials and to protect the Kuttanad region from floods. Construction of a new plant for the filter-drying process has started. Large projects, including an acid regeneration plant, are also under consideration.
KELTRON: The Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation (KELTRON) is also on track to progress by participating in the Smart City projects at Kochi, Nagpur and Chennai. The company is manufacturing navigation equipments for the Department of Fisheries, Echo Sounder for the Navy, and cheap Hearing Aids. The internal security project is being implemented in collaboration with the police and the Department of Motor Vehicles. The Keltron Communication Complex is equipped with a clean room for aerospace projects and the facility to build an artificial intelligence camera. The construction of the ventilator required for the medical field is also in the final stages.
Malabar Cements made a profit despite the Covid crisis. The company registered a net profit of Rs 1.2 crores with an operating profit of Rs 6 crores in the current financial year.
Kerala State Textile Corporation: The traditional sector is also on the path of growth along with modern industries. Two mills and four co-operative spinning mills under Kerala State Textile Corporation (KSTC) made operating profit last November. Malappuram Co-operative Spinning Mill made an operating profit during October-November. It also registered a profit in November. The launch of production at Komalapuram Spinning & Weaving Mill, Uduma Textile Mill, and Pinarayi Hi-Tech Weaving Mill has given impetus to the region. Yarn is also exported from Malabar Spinning & Weaving Mills, Malcotex, Kannur Co-operative Spinning Mill and Trivandrum Spinning Mill. KSTC Mills also participated in the manufacture of safety masks in the Kovid context.
Autocast, a ferrous foundry manufacturing plant on the verge of closure, is now making new gains. Casnub bogies for freight trains were built and delivered for Northern Railway. Autocast also got an order from Maruti for brakes. United Electrical Industries has developed a vehicle tracking system based on IRNSS as a native navigation system. Travancore Cochin Chemicals (TCC) which was in crisis due to lack of assets, made a profit of Rs 55.87 crores in 2019-20. TCC started caustic soda plant, caustic concentration unit and hydrochloric acid synthesis units. The exports of caustic soda also commenced.
Launched by Kerala Automobile Limited, Kerala Neem G Electric Auto is gaining popularity in the market. Following the export of 33 e-autos to Nepal, steps are being taken to open showrooms in all districts. A massive project to produce lithium titanate batteries for electric vehicles is in the pipeline. KAL is also planning to manufacture the motors used in electric vehicles apart from building e-scooters, e-goods auto and five-seater e-rickshaws.
Steps are being initiated by the PSUs to convert from diesel fuel to LNG. This change will help halve fuel costs while reducing the environmental pollution. The operations of KMML and Kerala Ceramics in Kundara has been shifted to LNG. A project to set up a solar power plant to generate electricity for the operations of Autocast was also initiated.
Public sector undertakings have enthusiastically participated in the Subhiksha Kerala scheme announced by the government during the Covid pandemic. There are 259.53 acres of cultivable land in 42 establishments and out of this, 150.325 acres were cultivated. The income from agriculture is more than Rs 5 lakh in the 21 institutions that carried out the harvest. Those who have completed cultivation in the first phase have now started work for the second phase.