Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said here on Saturday that the State lost several opportunities for growth, as there were several roadblocks in ensuring the economic progress.

In his inaugural address at a seminar on the ‘future of IT, ITES and Electronics Hubs in Kerala’ held here, Mr. Chandy said that people here would not have gone abroad, if they had opportunities in the State.

“We had many achievements in the health and education sectors but could not ensure similar growth in other areas.

The State should have been number one in the IT sector across the country. But Karnataka is in first position and its current IT export is about Rs. 77, 000 crore. Kerala’s share is only Rs. 3,260 crore,” he said.

Stating that the State viewed computer revolution and internet growth with suspicion in the initial years, the Chief Minister said that efforts should be made not to waste the opportunities emerging in this age of smart phones.

Mr. Chandy said that the start-up village in Kochi could help in providing a platform for the youth to transform themselves from job seekers to job creators. Companies showing interest in the start-up initiatives by young entrepreneurs are also growing fast, he said.

Industries Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty said that the government has initiated steps to implement the recommendations made by Sam Pitroda aimed at improving the IT growth across the State. Excise Minister K. Babu, Public Works Minister V. K. Ebrahim Kunju, and Mayor Tony Chammany spoke.