Tourism growth ideal for State: Nohria

KOCHI, DEC. 22. The Assocham president, Mr. K.K. Nohria, has stressed the need for choosing areas for optimum development.

The centres of excellence created in this manner would result in a `cluster effect', ushering in a chain of development, he said. He was speaking at a press conference organised here by the Cochin Chamber of Commerce & Industry on the occasion of its 144th annual general meeting yesterday.

It is the approach of political leadership in each State that makes the difference in the development pattern there. Every State cannot aspire to make a mark in every sphere it wants. Instead, States should focus on certain areas where it can achieve the targeted development, he said.

Kerala, with its rich natural environment, is ideally suited for tourism development. The State should select major tourist centres for development, he said. Tourism can create a brand equity for the State, he opined. The advantage that Kerala has in the education and health fields augurs well for the State's development, he said. The State is also suited for development of biotechnology, he said.

He said globalisation would be meaningful to India if only some of the companies in the country become global players. The Indian laws are complicated and are basically `based on mistrust', he said.

The Government should trust the industry and other sectors and frame policies accordingly, he said. He called for harmonisation of laws pertaining to various States and implementation of common taxation procedures like VAT.

The industry has to develop competitiveness and plan strategies taking realities into account. It has to make efforts to succeed even if the Government is apathetic, he said. Though the Government has done something in the telecom sector, it has yet to act in the power, housing and shipping sectors, he said. To a question, he said the industries which do not observe pollution control norms should be closed down.

Earlier, Mr. A.K. Atal, president of the Chamber, urged the industry to strive for the sanction of Vallarpadom container transshipment terminal. He said the project was important not only for the State but also for the economy of the country.

Congratulating the Government for announcing the industrial and labour policies, he said Kerala had the talent and capability of becoming a big player in the information technology sector. Recalling that Kerala has been classified as a labour militant State, he said the labour policy will have a far-reaching impact on the economy of the State. He urged the Government to take immediate steps to remedy the distressing situation in the agriculture sector.