Plea for in-built social costs

Thiruvananthapuram June 26. The Congress MLA, Mercy Ravi, here today appealed to the State Government to ensure that social costs were also included in industrial projects to take care of sustainable development and the socio-economic problems of the local community.

Participating in the debate on the demands for grants for industry, Mrs. Ravi said the Government should insist that industrial investors should earmark funds to take care of several issues like environmental degradation. There was nothing wrong in industrial promoters aspiring for profits through their enterprise, but at the same time, the State Government could not turn a blind eye to the negative impacts on the local community. Such an initiative on the part of the Government had become an imperative in the context of globalisation.

Referring to the various tourism projects that had come up at Kumarakom, she said the Government did not have a policy perspective to tackle the various problems posed to the local community, which was under threat of biological pollution of the Vembanad lake. Even though Mrs. Ravi did not mention the controversial mineral sand mining project by name, it was quite obvious that she had it in her mind while she made her plea. She also wanted the State Government to give sufficient attention to the small-scale sector that had contributed a great deal to the State's economy. She demanded establishment of a revolving fund to finance technology upgradation of the SSIs.

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