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Kerala GIM projects attract Rs 4,800 cr worth of EoIs

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THE Kerala Government has so far received expressions of interest for projects worth Rs 4,800 crore in the run-up to the forthcoming global investors meet in Kochi on January 18 and 19 next year.

The Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation, the nodal agency for the meet, had invited expressions of interest for a total of 40 projects over the last one year. Some of the projects which received response included the Skybus service and industrial water supply scheme in Kochi, domestic gas supply, centres of excellence, I-max theatre and large-format film projection, access-controlled express highway between Kasaragod and Thriuvananthapuram and a "dream city" in Kozhikode, the Industries Minister, Mr P.K. Kunhalikutty, told newspersons here.

He said as many as 83 projects worth Rs 31,000 crore, covering diverse areas such as ports, power generation, infrastructure, manufacturing, information technology, tourism, housing and financial services, would be showcased at the meet. These apart, the Government would consider project proposals from the participants at the meet.

In this context, the Minister said the Government had already held talks with industrial majors such as Tatas, Reliance, Mahindra and Mahindra and Infosys on making investments in the State.

PSUs not to be showcased: Mr Kunhalikutty said the State-owned public sector undertakings would not be showcased at GIM. He gave this assurance at a meeting with various youth organisations, which had raised apprehensions over the meet.

He said the meeting was part of the Government's efforts to bring in consensus on developmental projects. Though the State had been in the forefront in social sectors, it lagged far behind the other States on the development front with the highest rate of unemployment in the country. The situation could change only through higher investments in the State for creating employment opportunities. The Government alone could not take upon itself the task of implementing all the development projects what with the limited resources at its disposal.

The organisations were of the view that the small sector and the traditional industries should not be ignored in the Government's development agenda and that PSUs should not be showcased at GIM. They also wanted the Government to approve only those projects which would create employment opportunities.

The Minister said there was consensus on the need for speedy development of the State, although there were differences over the approach to achieving it. The Government would hold another meeting with the organisations to fully dispel the lingering doubts about the meet, he added.

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