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`Fiscal discipline need of the hour'

Our Bureau

KOCHI, June 20

IF Kerala is to come out of its financial crisis, the State Government has to introduce strict fiscal discipline besides implementing second-generation reforms.

Speaking to newspersons after taking over as the Chairman, CII Southern Region, Mr T. Kannan said that for creating the `New Kerala', it is imperative to have second-generation reforms in all the vital sectors such as power, labour and State finances.

There should be better public-private partnerships whereby several sick units could be revived.

The majority of the State PSUs have been incurring losses for years and their accumulated losses have crossed Rs 2,500 crore. "Therefore, it would be wise to disinvest," he said.

Presenting two methodologies for creating the `New Kerala', Mr Kannan said that the State should adopt an e-governance model to improve the services to the citizens, besides holding road shows at home and abroad on the `New Kerala'.

Thrust has to be given to entrepreneur development with focus on women. The tourism potential is high but it has not been fully exploited.

According to Mr Kannan, another area where the State could make strides is the emerging IT-enabled services market.

At the same time, the Government should create a conducive atmosphere facilitating large NRI/NRK investments in the State. The forthcoming Global Investors' Meet (GIM) should focus on the investment climate in the State, he added.

Mr Kannan also said that Kerala should promote agri-based exports. "It has tremendous potential in ayurveda, and there must be should have to be a systematic and scientific approach for nurturing the alternative medicine system and herbals. Besides, Kerala could be promoted as a global resource centre for training and education, he added.

Mr Kannan also spoke on the CII (SR) theme for the year, `HIT (Human Resources, Infrastructure, Technology): Southern Region Competitiveness'.

Those participated included Ms Pamela Anna Mathew, Chairperson, CII Kerala, Mr K.K.M. Kutty, Deputy Chairman, CII (SR) and Mr C.G. Jolly, immediate past Chairman, CII Kerala.

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