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MEPZ posts 25% growth in exports

Ravi Menon  |  Chennai 

The Madras Export Processing Zone (MEPZ) has registered a 25 per cent increase in export turnover during the first half of fiscal 2008 from April 1 to September 30.
In the process, Tamil Nadu's leading industrial hub situated on Chennai's outskirts, is witnessing a resurgence in its non-manufacturing sector spurred by robust productivity gains.
For the six-month period ended September 30, the total export turnover touched Rs 1,317 crore from Rs 1,053 crore in the corresponding period of 2006-07. The turnover figures do not include software exports averaging Rs 30-35 crore per month, B Vijayan, development commissioner, MEPZ, said.
With the 25 per cent leap in export turnover in the first six months of 2007-08, MEPZ is well on its way to exceeding its revenue targets for the year, and reaffirming its position as the state's premier industrial cluster.
The share of the non-manufacturing sector comprising IT, gems and jewellery and trading sectors was 45 per cent of the total revenues at Rs 592 crore, from 40 per cent (Rs 426 crore) in H1 of 2007.
Of this, the IT sector, comprising the electronics and software segments, registered an increase of 1.2 per cent in revenue in H1 of 2008 to Rs 297.05 crore from Rs 293.82 crore last year.
On the manufacturing front, the 110 SME units operated by MEPZ brought in the bulk of revenues at Rs 725 crore, with the engineering, textiles, chemicals, plastics and leather goods sectors contributing 55 per cent of the total exports pie, five percentage points lower than last year. Of this, the engineering segment contributed 47 per cent of the total manufacturing turnover.
The clear gainer was MEPZ's non-manufacturing sector, whose revenues were boosted largely by the fast-growing gems and jewellery sector, which registered 144 per cent revenue growth to reach Rs 271 crore in H1 2008, from Rs 111 crore in the first half of last year.
MEPZ's manufacturing sector, employing nearly 20,000 people, accounted for nearly 70 per cent of the annual exports revenues of Rs 2,462 crore in fiscal 2007, with the rest accounted for by the non-manufacturing sector.
Started in 1984 as an initiative of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry on an investment of Rs 671.67 crore, MEPZ has a total of 120 operational units spread over 265 acres, employing over 26,000 people.
MEPZ also monitors the functioning of a number of 100 per cent EoUs in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andaman & Nicobar.

First Published: Mon, October 08 2007. 00:00 IST