Mumbai: Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy on Tuesday strove to stave off the past anti-investment image of the state, where militant labour unions called every shot, by showing an olive branch to the captains of Corporate India and dangling a whopping Rs 2.4-trillion worth investment opportunities.
Showcasing the state, which is the most literate with the highest human development index in the country, to a slew of corporate leaders in the city on the second day of the Emerging Kerala 2012 road-show, Chandy said, "Labour problem and trade union militancy are matters of the past and there is no place for such issues in a highly competitive business environment. Anyway, trade unions have now become disciplined and cooperative."
"My government has finalised a number of mega infra projects, for which, we are seeking domestic and foreign investments. Some of these projects are the High-speed Rail Corridor connecting Thiruvanthapuram with Mangalore at an investment of Rs 1.18 trillion, the National Investment and Manufacturing Zone entailing Rs 52,000 crore of investment; the Kochi Metro project entailing an investment of Rs 4,500 crore, and the upcoming Kannur International Airport, which needs an investment of Rs 4,500 crore," Chandy said.
The Rs 45,000-crore first phase of the High-speed Rail Corridor will connect the state capital with the commercial hub Kochi and the work will hopefully begin from next April and will complete by March 2018, the chief minister said adding that DMRC has already completed the feasibility report and half the DPR is also done.
"My government has a clear development agenda. It is tailor-made to attract investments. We aim to create an enabling environment to facilitate the transformation of the state into a business hub and a preferred investment destination," Chandy told a high-profile gathering of corporate honchos and business tycoons as well as heads of trade missions from abroad.
Chandy, who was flanked by his industries minister P K Kunhalikutty and finance minister K M Mani, further said PPP, with a single-window clearance mechanism, will be the bedrock for all mega projects in the state.