Sunday, September 16, 2012

’Emerging Kerala’ attracts proposals worth over Rs 26,000 cr

Kochi: The 'Emerging Kerala' global investor meet, aimed at showcasing the state as an investment hub, concluded here Friday, with the government saying that the event attracted investment proposals worth over Rs 26,000 crore from both India and abroad. Terming the event as a "huge success", Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the proposals include setting up of an engine assembly unit by German auto maker Volkswagen that is worth about Rs 2,000 crore. The three-day event, which was boycotted by the principal Opposition party Left Democratic Front, saw participation of people from as many as 36 countries including the US, the UK, China, Japan and Canada. Addressing the valedicatory session, Chandy said 45 specific project proposals. Including BPCL's earlier proposal of Kochi Refinery expansion - for over Rs 18,000 crore - the overall investment plans would be worth more than Rs 40,000 crore. BPCL today inked a Memorandum of Understanding with the state government for providing certain tax concessions for the expansion activities. A total of 555 proposals were discussed at various Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Government (B2G) meetings at the summit. According to the Chief Minister, the 142 proposals deliberated at the B2G meetings would be taken up for further consideration immediately and a final decision would be taken "within 90 days". The government would soon be setting up an Investment Clearance Board for faster implementation of proposed projects. Other major investment proposals include Rs 570 crore pre cast concrete structure manufacturing unit and Rs 500 crore solar energy plant. Briefing reporters at the end of the summit, Chandy wondered why the Opposition boycotted the event which was aimed at boosting investments into the state. "Not even a single piece of land was sold or given on lease. Still, the Opposition boycotted 'Emerging Kerala' for the sake of boycotting...," he said. Opposition parties had alleged that the government was making a platform to give the state's natural resources to private people. The event was inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on September 12. Over three days, more than 4,600 delegates participated. From now onwards, this summit would be organised every two years. The government plans to establish a Technology Innovation Zone in about 10 acres of land in Kochi, entailing an initial investment of Rs 100 crore. "The Zone will also house more initiatives like the start up village on Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode in other technology areas and verticals in telecom, data analytics, animation and gaming, nanotechnology and biotechnology," Chandy said. The Chief Minister said that the government would soon sent out notices to private entities, who are yet to develop projects in land allotted to them by the government. "We will give them (those who have not utilised the government land) another six months to develop their projects. If they are not doing it in the specified time, we will take back the government land," he said.

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