Says State should create conducive climate to attract industries
Defence Minister A.K. Antony has said his Ministry is ready to start a second phase project of BEML Limited at Kanjikode if the State government gives the remaining 625 acres of land promised earlier.
Presiding over the inauguration of the first phase of BEML unit at Kanjikode near here on Sunday, the Defence Minister said, ??if the State government provided land and other infrastructure facilities, more Central projects will come to Kerala. The BEML project is a good example of cooperation of both the Central and State governments. We have to create conducive climate to attract more industries to the State.''
Mr. Antony said the State government should work together with the Centre so that more Central investment would come to the State. He complimented Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and Industries Minister Elamaram Karim for providing all help in setting up a BEML unit in a record time of 18 months.
He said there were obstacles in getting industries from the Central government because of the general impression that Kerala was not having the right climate for industries. But now things had changed and people were aware that Kerala was safe for investment. Thus we should work together to create a good environment for setting up industries in the State, the Defence Minister said.
In his inaugural address, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan said the Central government should take up the construction of the proposed Railway Coach Factory at Kanjikode immediately for which the State government had handed over 426 acres of land.
He said the Railway Ministry was looking for a private partner to implement the project. But the State government wanted the coach factory to be in the public sector, and Mr. Antony should explore the possibility of BEML becoming a partner in implementing the project.
The new unit of BEML would make rail coaches and other components for it, he said.
The Chief Minister said if more Central units, including Defence projects, came to the State, the government would provide the required land and other infrastructure facilities.
Leader of Opposition Oommen Chandy and Industries Minister Elamaram Karim were the guests of honour at the function.
Those who addressed the meeting included O. Rajagopal, former Union Minister of State for Railways, M.B. Rajesh, MP, Deputy Speaker Jose Baby, T.K.A. Nair, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, K. Achuthan and C.P. Mohammed, MLAs, V.R.S. Natarajan, Chairman and Managing Director of BEML, T. Balakrishnan, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Kerala, among others.