Considering that only about 45 per cent of the 10,000 registered small industrial units were officially known to be engaged in actual production, it was only appropriate that the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research should under the initiative of the North Eastern Council open an unit in Shillong for the very important task of transfer of appropriate technologies to these small industrial under takings. It was revealed at the second advisory committee meeting of the CSIR’s Poly-technology Transfer Centre that since its inception four years ago, the Shillong unit could render valuable assistance already for fabrication of mini rice mills and for profitable utilization of agro-waste and byproducts of small industries.
In Meghalaya, where it is located, the PTC so far helped the establishment of one tapioca processing unit and this under the auspices of the State Industrial Development Corporation. There is scope for more of such assistance in diverse other potential spheres of growth of small scale industries carrying for adequate guidance and patronage. Also is there an urgent need as some of the committee members of the PTC themselves pointed out at the meeting of the region as also the betel nut in Assam and Meghalaya in particular, for instance, being available in profusion for profitable commercial and industrial utilization.
While technological assistance is of prime importance, there are also other well known constraints from which industrial growth suffers. Even in the small-scale sector lack of adequate finance and entrepreneurship provide major hurdles which most of the people engaged in small industries find difficult to overcome. Commercial banks are comparatively fewer in this region and their investments in small scale industries are even far less than what is normally expected to reflect a more assuring picture of investment in relation to deposits mopped up in the respective Bank’s command area.
The over-riding factor of a general inaptitude and inertia for starting industrial undertakings is, of course, a basic problem to contend with in generating an overall climate of industrial growth.