Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday used his Twitter account to obliquely counter the criticism that it is not easy to do business in the State.
The Left Democratic Front (LDF) government’s Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) credentials had arguably taken a beating when Sabu Jacob, owner of Kitex Garments and a significant employer, threatened to abandon a ₹3,500 crore project.
Mr. Jacob, who is also the head of the Kizhakkambalam Twenty 20 party, had accused the government of harassment. Mr. Jacob’s party had opposed both the Congress and the CPI(M) in the Kunnathunadu constituency.
He linked 11 back-to-back "intrusive" government inspections at his factory to political score-settling by the CPI(M). Mr. Jacob claimed that investor-friendly States, including Tamil Nadu, had invited him to set up shop in their jurisdictions.
Soon, Shamika Ravi, an economist and former member of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council, tweeted about Mr. Jacob's situation.
Ms. Ravi Tweeted: "If you have ever wondered why Kerala continues to have twice the unemployment rate as all-India, this should be an important case study to follow."
In response, Harsh Goenka, chairman, RPG Enterprises, tweeted: "We are the largest employers in Kerala. We find the local government very supportive."
Mr. Vijayan thanked Mr. Goenka for clearing the air. He Tweeted: "Thank you@hvgoenka for allaying the apprehensions over Kerala's EoDB. Your honesty is much appreciated. Kerala has been one of the most investor-friendly States in India and will continue to be so. The LDF government ensures that sustainable and innovative industries thrive here."
Industries Minister P. Rajeeve said the government would address the group's concerns. He said intrusive inspections were not the norm. Government officials had met Mr. Jacob.
Kitex is a major producer of children's apparel. IUML leader P.K. Kunhalikutty urged the government to be more investor-friendly.