Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Saturday made a strong case for a suitable and simplified mechanism by the Indian government, which would allow State governments to enter into MoUs with other countries, their Ministries and agencies, especially for investment promotion and strengthening academia-industry network.
Addressing the 30th Southern Zonal Council Meeting in Kerala, he said a mechanism was necessary because clearances and no-objection certificates from the External Affairs Ministry had caused a delay in signing the MoUs.
The Chief Minister also urged Home Minister Amit Shah, who was present in the meeting, to withdraw the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and allow State-owned Distribution Licensees to supply quality power at affordable rates to the people. He also sought the Minister’s intervention to get assent for the Tamil Nadu Admission to Undergraduate Medical Degree Courses Bill, passed unanimously by the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly and pending with the Union government.
Another important issued raised by Mr. Stalin was airports, for which the State governments acquire and transfer lands to Central PSUs/Airports Authority of India (AAI) free of cost. “If the AAI/Government of India, at a later date, transfers the assets to a third party, then the value realised must be proportionately shared with the State government considering the huge investment made by the State. Alternatively, the value of the lands should be converted as equity of the State government through a Special Purpose Vehicle,” he said.
Mr. Stalin also argued strongly in favour of the creation of the High-Speed Rail Corridor, stating it was more economical, energy-efficient and less polluting than aircraft and automobiles. “In order to increase the average speed of travel in the State passenger traffic, I insist on creation of a High-Speed Rail corridor connecting specific locations in Tamil Nadu like Chennai, Coimbatore, Thoothukudi and Madurai to each other and to neighbouring States as well. This initiative would reduce carbon footprint in line with India’s net zero ambitions and enhance the economic prosperity of the State as a whole,” he further said.