PM for enabling investment environment in Kerala

timthumbKOCHI, Kerala: A three-day meet to woo global investments in the south Indian state of Kerala opened here on Wednesday, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calling for a need to build an enabling environment and committing to build an improved industrial infrastructure in the state.

Addressing the ‘Emerging Kerala Global Connect’ meet, he also announced that the demand for establishing an IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) is under Center’s consideration.

“We need to build an enabling environment to facilitate investment in every possible way and I am very pleased to hear the state Chief Minister promise that that is precisely what he is determined to do.

“Our Government is committed to helping and adding to the initiatives of the state government for building an improved industrial infrastructure in the State,” he said, inaugurating the meet.

Singh said that tomorrow he would be laying the foundation stone for the Kochi Metro Rail Project for linking Aluva to Petta.

“Our Government has approved the project at a cost of over Rs 5100 crore. When this project is completed, it would transform the face of the commercial capital of the State by easing the burden of traffic congestion,” he said.

Various central ministers including Defense Minister A K Antony, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, other State Ministers besides CII President Adi Godrej were present on the occasion.

Nearly 1900 delegates from 51 countries are participating in the event. . The Prime Minister said he hoped the ‘Emerging Kerala’ meet, organized by Government of Kerala, industry body CII and software industry body NASSCOM, will lead to new partnerships, boosting local employment and production, as well as exports.

He said Kerala attracts lakhs of domestic and international tourists every year and its strength needs to be leveraged optimally to attract investment into the state.

“More than 2 million Keralites work outside India, in the Gulf countries and elsewhere. Remittances from Non-resident Keralites contribute significantly to the state’s economy.

This constitutes more than 22 per cent of the state GDP.

“The contribution of the Non-Resident Keralites can perhaps be said to be the backbone of the economy of Kerala and has been so for the last four decades,” Singh said.

He said Non-Resident Keralites are making investments in projects like hotels, hospitals and shopping complexes, thereby helping to create physical and social infrastructure and new employment opportunities.

Singh said that the UPA government has encouraged and actively supported the efforts of Kerala to grow into a major investment hub and it would continue to do so.

“We would like the State to embark on a path of people- focused inclusive and sustainable development, driven by knowledge and innovation, and mindful of the environmental concerns,” the Prime Minister said. -PTI