BHUBANESWAR: Small scale industries can flourish in Odisha if big corporate houses and government extend support and cooperation, state Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Minister Damodar Rout has said.

“Odisha has great MSME feasibility to provide raw materials to the large scale industries. If the major corporate houses cooperate, Odisha can have significant development in the MSME sector,” he said.

The state government should be a major buyer of products manufactured by small units which are need of support and cooepration from all, he said at the inauguration of a mega industrial exhibition here last evening organised by Utkal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Odisha’s apex industry body on the occasion of its golden jubilee.

“Odisha has a heritage of trade and commerce for the past 3,000 years and we are abundantly blessed with all the resources we need yet we are paradoxically the poorest of the poor,” he lamented.

Guest of honor Rajeev Dube, Director, Group Corporate Services, Aditya Birla Group said the company already has investments close to Rs 25,000 crore in Odisha and looks forward to invest much more.

“Despite challenges the growth of the state cannot be argued upon and there is no reason why it could not be the next Australia of India,” he added.

Sudhansu Sekhar Mishra, Chairman of Paradip Port Trust (PPT) said the growth rate of the port is 25 per cent as compared to -2.5 per cent last year and is now ranked second among major port trust of the country.

Expressing concern over the time taken in clearing planned projects, he said, the environmental clearance has become a bottle neck for industrial growth in the state.

In his welcome address, UCCI President Ramesh Mahapatra said the body would find vendors for the MSME sector this year and with consistent efforts the state will be a mirror to other states.