Kerala’s loss-making public sector units are set to report good tidings. Indications are that they have collectively posted a profit of Rs 34.19 crore in the first half of the current fiscal, whereas in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal they had logged a collective loss of Rs 113 crore. “What worked to better the results was the infusion of fresh capital through plan allocations,” says AC Moideen, Kerala industry minister. “In the first year of the LDF government, we were able to make good losses worth Rs 71 crore. After initial success, we expect that by the end of the fiscal, we’d be able to show better profitability in the public sector,” he says. There are 85 PSUs of varied sizes under state industry department. It was the materials and chemicals sectors that helped lift the collective fortunes of state PSUs. The state’s star performer, Kerala Minerals and Metals, reported a profit of Rs 136 crore for H1 of FY18, against a profit of Rs 15 crore a year ago. Travancore Cochin Chemicals reported a profit of Rs 18.87 crore against a meagre profit of Rs 97 lakh a year ago. Travancore Titanium Products, which was burdened by its expensive investment in an effluent treatment plant, saw its profit surge seven times to touch Rs 20 crore.
“Modernisation will soon add to the list of profit-makers among state PSUs. Plans for modernisation of Transformers and Electricals Kerala, Kerala Electrical & Allied Engineering and Autocast are in the final stage,” said the minister.
The state government has been toying with a proposal for setting up an industrial complex for the production of titanium dioxide from mineral sand. “A feasibility study on this is on, and the investment will depend on the recommendations of the study,” the minister confirmed.