K.M.Mani said the projects would be environment-friendly and the State’s interests would be protected. 40 delegates were expected from U.K. for the investment meet.

The projects proposed for the forthcoming Emerging Kerala investment meet will be scrutinised by the State investment board before the government gives the final approval, Finance Minister K.M. Mani has said on Sunday.

Addressing a press conference here, he said the projects would be environment-friendly and the State’s interests would be protected.

Though Kerala was ahead of many other States in terms of social indicators, the State is way behind neighbouring States such as Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in respect of economic advancement. More employment opportunities are required and income should go up.

Private investment

Private participation in projects has been found to be a successful model for development in many countries including China. Private investment in the State would help boost the economy.

The Minister recalled that the Cochin International Airport project was completed with private participation and there were objections to that project when it was proposed.

Mr. Mani reiterated that transparent procedures would be adopted for clearance of the listed projects. Criticisms on the investment meet were being considered as part of the democratic process, he said.

The Minister who had visited U.K. recently, said 40 delegates were expected from U.K. for the investment meet.

Communal harmony

Answering questions, he said the Prime Minister’s reference to declining communal harmony in Kerala did not pertain to a period of one and a half years, but the trend over many years.

Everyone, including the media, would have to be vigilant against igniting communal passions, he said.

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