Disappointed at not being given the prominence it deserves despite having a glittering record spanning over 25 years in developing an industrial culture, the Cochin Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) is all set to seek the acceptance it deserves from the State government in matters pertaining to industrial growth.

CSEZ, a conglomerate of domestic and international companies, has found the occasion of celebration of its silver jubilee as the fitting time for stamping its mark in the future development of the State.

Talking to The Hindu on the sidelines of the function held to mark the silver jubilee celebrations here on Friday, K.K. Pillai, the president of the Cochin Export Processing Zone Industries Association, shared the anguish of CSEZ being left out in the area of their expertise over the years.

“We are planning to forward a proposal to the State government seeking our representation in the State industrial advisory board besides being made part of the think-tank on attracting industrial parks to the State. CSEZ could make more valuable contributions in those endeavours than individual industrialists simply because of the fact that we have international exposure and international companies working out of our premises. CSEZ should be made a partner in formulating the future development programmes in the State,” Mr. Pillai said.

The matter found a fleeting mention in his welcome address so as to bring it to the notice of Excise Minister K. Babu who was present on the occasion representing the State government.

At present, the CSEZ is not being taken in to confidence by the State government either at the time of taking policy decisions or while thinking about industrial expansions despite being a successful industrial conglomerate making huge contributions.

Simply because CSEZ is an institution under the Union government, the State government seems to have little knowledge about this body and hence does not realise its true worth in all crucial matters of significance to industrial and economic growth, Mr. Pillai said.

“The experience and expertise of an industrial cluster generating maximum jobs and contributing huge revenues to both the State and Union governments can prove invaluable,” he said.

CSEZ has 125 units and provides more than 25,000 jobs. The export-oriented industrial cluster recorded a turnover of Rs. 32,000 crore during 2012-13 fiscal.

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