Emerging Kerala Global Meet to be made a success

The entire focus of industrial development is going to be on making ‘Emerging Kerala Global Meet,' slated for September, a grand success, with Finance Minister K.M. Mani allocating Rs.100 crore in his 2012-13 Budget for development of basic infrastructure and land acquisition for various projects that would come in through this route.

Mr. Mani said in his Budget speech that part of the basic infrastructure for projects presented at the Emerging Kerala meet would be related to establishing trade and commercial zones in the three cities of Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, and Kozhikode. The steps to identify suitable land had already been taken and such plots would be notified as commercial zones under which all activities related to industry and commerce would be permitted. The Rs.100 crore allocated for this purpose would be made available to Kinfra over and above its customary Budget allocation. Commercial zones would also be set up at district headquarters, important towns and municipalities.

Manufacturing zones

The Finance Minister said he was allocating Rs.20 crore for establishing a special purpose vehicle that would set up industrial manufacturing zones under the national manufacturing policy. These zones would be concentrated on the Kochi-Coimbatore industrial corridor.

In addition, an electronics manufacturing hub would be set up at Ambanellore. He also allocated Rs.50 crore for setting up a petrochemical industrial zone that would promote large number of small-scale industries. The allocation, he said, had been made in the context of the mega plan of the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd's to increase the production capacity of the Kochi Refineries and set up other petrochemical-related units in Kochi at a total cost of Rs.18,000 crore. Considering the fact that this would be a huge investment in Kerala's industrial sector, the State government had already announced tax sops for BPCL, he said.

Natural gas

With a view to cash in on the natural gas distribution in cities, the Finance Minister allocated Rs.12 crore for the proposed supplementary gas infrastructure project under the auspices of Kerala GAIL Gas Ltd, a joint venture of the Gas Authority of India Ltd. and the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation.

The Finance Minister has made another hefty allocation of Rs.12 crore for setting up a company to operate seaplane services. However, he has not elaborated on the proposed project, except that the services have been proposed in the light of the traffic bottlenecks and for reducing travel time.

The other proposals for the industrial sector are Industrial park in Brahmapuram on the land owned by the Kochi Corporation; Edu-Health City on the 240 acres of land owned by Inkel in Malappuram, Botanical garden in Thonakcal for which the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation has already acquired 36 acres; multi-storey industrial estates at Kochuveli, Manjeri and Kottaikkal for which the Finance Minister earmarked Rs.20 crore.

The Finance Minister earmarked Rs.5 crore for setting up a Global Ayurveda Village, and Rs.10 crore for an Aero-space Centre under a joint venture of Keltron and the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC).

The Finance Minister also proposed the setting up of a Seaport Airport Area Development Authority to provide connectivity between seaports and airports in the State. The Nedumbassery-Vallarpadom, Karipur-Beypore, Mattannur-Azheekal and Vizhinjam-Shanghumughom belt would come under the authority.