Promises government support to committed investors

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s keynote speech at the Emerging Kerala event on Wednesday had the trappings of Winston Churchill’s famous blood-and-sweat speech during the Second World War.

Mr. Chandy, who had weathered a lot of flak from the Opposition parties, environmental groups, and social activists to make the event a reality, was keen that it would lead to actual investments and not just promises. He went out of the way to assure the investors of his government’s commitment to make the meet a success.

“Our government is serious,” he said. “Our government will hold firm. Our government will effect change with transparency. Our government will reform. Our government will protect environment and rule of law. Our government will encourage entrepreneurship amongst the youngsters in Kerala and I assure you that the State government will extend full support to committed investors who come to Kerala to invest within the framework of the law of the land,” he said.

Mr. Chandy said: “I assure you that the government would support, handhold, and provide speedy clearances to all such proposals that are people-friendly, environment-friendly, which contribute to Kerala’s growth, and complies with the law of the land. We would do so in the most transparent and timely manner, without taking any shortcuts on any of the critical issues such as environment, law and the quality of human life in Kerala.”

Probably referring to the Opposition LDF’s hostility to Emerging Kerala on ideological grounds, Mr. Chandy said: “We realise that words or ideology alone will not get us either investors or investment. It is no longer a time for vain words but for bold constructive action.”

The Chief Minister, while highlighting the positive points of Kerala from an investors’ viewpoint, pointed out that Kerala’s youth were well-educated, but that they lacked opportunities. “We, in our families, have invested heavily in our younger generations since they are our most precious resource. They need opportunities right here in Kerala and right now. We do not have any more time to wait.”

Mr. Chandy made a nice pitch for investors to set up shop in Kerala. He highlighted Kerala’s unique social life, general educational level, natural beauty, and skills set. He pointed out that the State had three international airports, the country’s only transshipment container terminal was in Kerala, and it had wonderful telecom connectivity.

He said his government had a clear development agenda. “Our commitment to the people of Kerala is development and care. Our objective is to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth. We want each and every individual in Kerala to participate in the development process. We want projects which are people-oriented; projects which create employment opportunities in the State; and projects which are environment-friendly.”

Student scheme

Mr. Chandy said his government was planning a unique student entrepreneurship scheme to encourage entrepreneurship amongst students. “Any student who works to create knowledge, innovation, wealth, and jobs in our society at or through any Government of India recognised incubators will be given 20 per cent attendance and four per cent grace marks in the academic course he or she attends. We expect this will give the students time to pursue entrepreneurship and innovation during their studies and unleash the intellectual power of the youngsters towards entrepreneurship.”

He asserted that Emerging Kerala was not just an investors’ meet.

“It is a platform for opinion makers and policy providers to sit together and ponder over ways to make Kerala the most desirable, the most happening, and the most eco-friendly human habitat on earth.”

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