The Cabinet on Tuesday approved formation of a consortium under the leadership of the State Bank of Travancore (SBT) for funding the first phase of Vizhinjam International Transshipment Terminal Project.

Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan told the media after the Cabinet meeting that Rs. 2500 crore was to be raised for the project. The SBT will liaison with other banks joining the consortium on the quantum of loans to be provided by each of them.

The Chief Minister announced that the Cabinet had decided to exempt companies developing infrastructure in IT parks under government control from stamp duty and registration fees on land transfers.

The Cabinet had also approved pension reforms benefiting government employees who had retired between March 1, 2002 and June 30 2004. The employees would get an increase of five per cent in pensions.

The government would issue notification making it mandatory for the Kerala State Information Commission to use Malayalam for official purposes.