State government in talks with RBI on the issue
KOCHI: The State government is looking to launch a Gulf subsidiary for the State-owned Kerala State Financial Enterprises Limited (KSFE) to handle chitty subscriptions from Malayalis working in these countries, said the Finance Minister Dr. T. M. Thomas Isaac here on Sunday. The government is in talks with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on this.
More immediately, KSFE will appoint an agency to handle the marketing of KSFE business, especially chitty, in the Gulf countries, the Minister said and pointed out that the government had called for expressions of interest from companies for setting up a marketing facility.
Dr. Isaac was speaking at the inauguration of the ‘Pravasi Bandhu’ Chitty-2009, aimed primarily at non-resident Malayalis.
He said that chitty was open to everyone who wanted to subscribe and not limited to the non-resident population. He said that current regulations on foreign exchange prevented non-resident Indians from investing directly in instruments like chitty.
The Minister wondered why the RBI did not allow expatriate Indians to invest directly in chitty while instruments like Participatory Notes allowed foreign investors freely into the Indian share market. He said that efforts to reason with the Reserve Bank had failed.
As KSFE achieves its Vision1-2010 goals set in 2006, the State owned company is looking to diversify its activities.
One of the areas, said the Finance Minister, was floating a subsidiary to handle the funds belonging to welfare funds in the State.
Feelers have been sent around and some of the welfare funds had expressed their interest in such a venture, said Dr. Isaac.
He said that the aim of KSFE was not exactly to reap maximum profit but to befriend the common people. Several changes have been initiated in KSFE under the Vision-2010 programme to simplify procedures and to make the services accessible to all in the society.
The Minister said that the ‘Pravasi Bandhu’ chitty would help KSFE achieve the business target under Vision-2010.
Jose Thettayil, Minister for Transport, inaugurated the work on the proposed regional office for KSFE at Kakkanad. He suggested that KSFE further simplify procedures and become a more people-friendly organisation.
K. Babu, MLA presided over at the programme. He expressed concern that while the business volume was on the rise, KSFE did not record a proportionate rise in profit.
Mani Vithayathil, chairman of KSFE, briefly outlined the changes that had taken place in KSFE under the Vision-2010 programme of action. He welcomed the gathering. President of Thrikkakara Panchayat Sabitha Karim and P. Rajendran, Managing Director of KSFE were among those who spoke on the occasion.