Kerala's transformation plan presented to Assocham members
By Express News Service - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
04th July 2012 10:53 AM
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Tuesday presented the State’s transformation plan with knowledge-based agro-industrial projects before the members of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) in New Delhi.
He highlighted the projects such as the proposed Kochi-Palakkad-Coimbatore industrial corridor, a 250 kmph hi-speed rail corridor connecting capital Thiruvananthapuram and Mangalore, three metros, specialised ports and coastal shipping, IT and biotech parks and high-quality manpower development programme. Chandy also invited the private sector participation at the global investor event ‘Emerging Kerala’ to be held in Kochi this September.
Dispelling the doubts about the labour problems in his state, the Chief Minister said that in the past one year not even a single industrial stoppage had occurred owing to strikes.
The Chief Minister, who was accompanied with Finance Minister K M Mani, Planning Minister K C Joseph and top state officials and economic adviser Shaffi Mather, also revealed that the controversy over imposing of toll on highways had been solved.
Assocham ex-president Anil Agarwal, who presided over the function, hoped Kerala would be in the top position in both the industrial and economic development sectors as the state was having a per capita income of `67,312, which was far higher than the national average of `46,492 (in 2009-10). Assocham vice-president Sunil Kanoria highlighted the concerns the investors could face by participating in the state’s developmental activities. Answering the queries of the industrial and business leaders, the Chief Minister said that the state had given thrust on developing more number of micro and small enterprises rather than going for large industrial projects as it was a densely populated state.
He said that the industrial corridor would open up huge opportunities for industrial units and business and trade at the nine industrial and two agro processing zones, the power hub and two tourism zones. The corridor is expected to generate seven lakh jobs with an outlay of Rs 23,500 crore.
On the critical issue of land acquisition, the Chief Minister assured that there would not be any problem as the government had already set up industrial and biotech parks and green zones. The Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Kinfra) already had acquired over 400 acres of land for setting up food processing units.With 1,300 food processing units in the State and a variety of fruits and vegetables and spices available in the state, this is another area the State hopes to attract large scale investment, he said. The biotechnology support for horticulture and floriculture through the biotech parks will further enhance the state’s attraction for investment in this field, he added.Regarding the FDI in retail chains, the CM pointed out that Kerala had the highest level of consumption expenditure in the whole country. It’s retail sales are well-organised and highly-innovative. Hence the government felt that the FDI was not needed in the state, the CM said.
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