The State government was working on a first-of-its-kind policy to promote environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments in order to draw more investors to Kerala, said Industries Minister P. Rajeeve on Saturday.
A press release said the Minister, inaugurating a seminar on corporate social responsibility and ESG here on Saturday, said a three-member committee chaired by Akshay Mangla of Said Business School, University of Oxford, C.J. George of Geojit Financial Services, and Dinesh Nirmal of IBM Software had been formed to formulate the policy. The seminar was organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India.
The Minister said Kerala had already made much headway in promoting ESG by launching an investment campaign under the banner ‘Responsible Investment and Responsible Industry’. The draft Industrial Policy 2022-2028, which is currently in the public domain for discussion, is also focused on incentivizing ESG-compliant industrial development.
The State has a severe crunch in land availability for setting up industries. The government is trying to overcome this by aggressively promoting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Within a span of nine months, the State could facilitate setting up of 1,08,382 MSMEs with a combined investment of ₹8,110 crore and potential for providing 2,88,049 new job opportunities. The scheme had been selected as one of the ‘Best Practices in the MSME Sector’ by the Government of India, he added.
Mr. Rajeeve expressed regret about the propaganda about the industrial scene in Kerala. Contrary to public perception, several industries in Kerala were blazing new trails, he said. The Industries department had identified Artificial Intelligence, Ayurveda, biotechnology, electronics, EVs, engineering and research and development, food tech, graphene, hi-tech farming, high value-added rubber products, logistics, medical equipment manufacture, nanotechnology, renewable energy, retail, robotics, tourism and hospitality, 3D printing and sports sectors as potential areas for ESG goals-based investment, he added.
Chief Secretary V. P. Joy was among those who addressed the seminar.