The government would be happy to encourage entrepreneurs who found viable alternatives to plastic, said Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Secretary Dharmendra Pratap Yadav.

Inaugurating the eighth edition of the Print-n-Pack 2018, a four-day exhibition organised by the MADITSSIA at Ida Scudder Auditorium on the campus of Velammal Medical College on Ring Road here on Thursday, he said the Tamil Nadu government had announced ban on single use plastics from January 1, 2019. Keeping this in mind, many districts, including Madurai, were preparing for the implementation of the ban.

Under such circumstances, the industry had a huge responsibility to join hands with the government in the successful implementation of this gargantuan exercise.

Lauding the printing and packaging industries, especially the printers from Sivakasi who have made a mark across the world, he urged more entrepreneurs to enter this industry and listed subsidies offered by Central and State governments.

All India Federation of Master Printers president A.M.S.G. Ashokan said printing was one industry which was present in cities, big and small. Printing needs of people were perennial and there was always scope for improvisation in tune with changing trends. Exhibitions such as these showcased new technologies which would be useful for both the existing players and those aspiring to set foot in printing business. By adopting new technologies, the cost of production could be brought down, he said.

MSME Additional Industrial Advisor S. Sivagnanam said that packaging was as important as the product itself as it helped in marketing the goods with ease. Giving an example, he said the packaging of products made in Auroville in Puducherry were as good as the product themselves. Mr. Sivagnanam also released a directory of exhibitors on the occasion.

MADITSSIA president K.P. Murugan, in his welcome address, said that Madurai being the gateway to southern districts, had around 2,000 entrepreneurs in the printing and packaging industries. If the government offered more sops, Startups may join and bring about a tangible development of the industry. He also urged the State government to expedite Madurai-Thoothukudi industrial corridor.

As many as 125 stalls had been put up at the exhibition. The exhibitors had come from the southern districts and also from Mumbai and Faridabad, said exhibition chairman Rm. Lakshminarayanan. Vice-chairman P.V. Anandan, Tamil Nadu Small Scale and Tiny Industries Association president C. Babu, Tamil Nadu Master Printers Federation president S. Manickam offered felicitations. MADITSSIA secretary B. Muruganandam proposed the vote of thanks. Seminars will be conducted on the next three days at the venue.

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