Inaugurates container freight station

The public sector units (PSUs) in the State are making great leap as 10 new companies have been launched using the profit generated by the PSUs in past four years, Industries Minister Elamaram Karim has said.

He was speaking after inaugurating the first phase of the Cochin International Container Freight Station (CICFS) of the Kerala State Industrial Enterprises at Kalamassery here on Friday.

Out of the 10 new ventures announced, only the hi-tech weaving mill at Thalassery got delayed due to the inability to complete the building because of rain. It would be commissioned in March. The PSUs in the State had proved that the climate was favourable for investment and thus giving a confidence to private investors, he said.

Officials of Dubai Ports, which is implementing the International Container Transhipment Terminal (ICTT) at Vallarpadom, was impressed by the time-bound completion of the work at ICTT, without any labour issues. Huge development projects progressing in the State proved all the allegations raised against the labour scene and trade unions in the State to be wrong, he said.

With the commissioning of the LNG terminal in 2012, Kochi and Kozhikode will have the first city gasification project in place. Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) officials were surprised when the State government gave permission for laying pipelines along the road to transport the fuel, he said.

There was no shortage of funds. The PSUs had proved that they could raise money required for development projects as demonstrated at the proposed airport in Kannur.

In contrast, the Central PSUs were not responding well to the initiatives of the State government, he said. Absence of a full-term head at the FACT meant many projects hanging fire. Projects conceived in association with agencies like FACT and Central Warehousing Corporation had not made any progress, despite repeated reminders from the State government, the Minister said.

A.M. Yousuf, MLA, presided. Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution K.V. Thomas was scheduled to lay the foundation stone for the second phase of CICFS. As he could not make it to the function due to Parliament session, a message from him was read out at the function.

Trade union leaders M.M. Lawrence and K. Chandran Pillai, Rama Mathew, Commissioner, Cochin Customs and Central Excise; Lissy George, chairperson, Eloor municipality; Anand Menon, president, Cochin Chamber of Commerce; A.A. Abdul Azeez, president, Cochin Customs House Agents Association; Deepak L. Aswani, president, Kerala Chamber of Commerce; and Febi Varghese, managing director of KSIE, were present.

The project, with an investment of Rs. 47 crore, has a 16000 sq.ft. Import Customs-bonded Cargo handling centre and a container complex with a capacity to handle 1000 containers ready in the first phase. An export cargo handling centre of more than one lakh sq.ft. area will be readied in the second phase. The project is expect to generate 100 direct and 500 indirect employment.

Keywords: CICFSElamaram KarimPSUs

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