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At Kerala meet,PM promises to improve infrastructure

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday urged Kerala to leverage on its strength of quality human resources,and high social and human development indicators to attract investments

Written by Shaju Philip | Kochi |
September 13, 2012 2:37:49 am

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday urged Kerala to leverage on its strength of quality human resources,and high social and human development indicators to attract investments. Inaugurating the three-day Emerging Kerala 2012,the PM said that a conducive environment should be built to facilitate investment in every possible manner and the event would help creating climate favourable for entrepreneurship.

Appreciating the investment of non-resident Keralites,he said,“We need to build an enabling environment to facilitate such investment in every possible way. We would like the state to embark on a path of people-focused inclusive and sustainable development,driven by knowledge and innovation,and also mindful of the environmental concerns.”

He said that labour intensive light manufacturing sector has a strong comparative advantage in Kerala and all assistance needs to be given to small and micro-business enterprises. “I appreciate that the state government is fully alive to the need for rapidly building up infrastructure which is essential for rapid industrial growth,’’ he said.

Mentioning the Rs 5,100-crore Kochi metro project,the foundation stone of which would be laid on Thursday,he said the UPA government was committed to help the state in building improved industrial infrastructure. Regarding the country’s first international container trans-shipment terminal at Kochi,he said the issues related to the operationalisation of the terminal have been solved.

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Addressing a session on Kerala model of development,Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia asked Kerala not to worry too much about food security. “Kerala can get any amount of rice shipped from other states and should focus on high value agriculture,” he said,adding that for Kerala,which is growing at 8.9 per cent per annum,cultivating rice would not be competitive. Kerala is losing its advantage on cash crops,he said.

Around 1,900 delegates from 51 countries and 50 diplomats are attending the event,boycotted by the CPM-led Opposition and marred by inclusion of several controversial projects. The DYFI activists marched to the venue,alleging that the meet was meant to surrender the state’s wealth to the capitalist forces. The police prevented the activists from reaching the venue.

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