Staff Reporter

‘Basic facilities like road connectivity essential to attract investment.'

ALAPPUZHA: Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac has called for a consensus of opinion on development of basic infrastructure for industrial ventures so as to attract private investment.

Speaking after laying the foundation stone for a Coir Composite Board factory under the public sector Foam Mattings India Limited at Coir Park in Kanichukulangara here on Friday, Dr. Isaac said basic facilities like road connectivity, and not just industrial parks, were essential to attract investment.

Kinalur incident

Those criticising the government in the background of the Kinalur incident, saying that there was no clarity on what sort of business was intended at the proposed industrial park, should remember that without roads, no investor would be ready to put his money on any business.

Stating that the government was not against private investment for the sake of development, the Minister said the government would do its duty of providing basic infrastructure and at the same time, go ahead with establishing public sector units.

Reopening PSUs

As many as 12 new public sector undertakings would have foundation stones laid across the State in the next three weeks at a time when PSUs in other States were either being shut down or on the verge of being privatised.

The government was re-opening several PSUs and even joint sector firms that were closed long back. The Kerala Spinners would have the foundation stone laid for a Rs.34-crore new spinning mill shortly, while preparations were on to re-open Travancore Rayons as well.

Ruing that Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee was not showing any inclination to discuss the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the State and the Railways to open a rail component manufacturing unit at Autokast here, Dr. Isaac said the State government had decided not to wait for the Centre and instead, go ahead with a proposal to have a new moulding line and cast line at Autokast.

Foundation stone laid

There was no need for heavy capital for this, since the enthusiasm of the workers at Autokast had made sure that the company was on breakeven level now.

Coir and Cooperation Minister G. Sudhakaran, who laid the foundation stone for the State Coir Corporation's Blended Yarn Loom factory on the same premises, said sweeping changes were coming over the coir sector.

Coir machine factory

A coir machine factory would have its foundation stone laid on May 24 and more such development initiatives were in the pipeline. The Coir Composite Board factory would be commissioned in December this year, he added.

Coir Board chairman V.S. Vijayaraghavan, Coir Corporation chairman G. Venugopal, Anathalavattam Anandan, P. Thilothaman and A.M. Arif, MLAs, district panchayat president R. Nazar, AITUC leader T.J. Anjalose, CPI (M) district secretary C.B. Chandrababu and others were present.