ASCEND Kerala 2020 attract Rs 1 lakh crore investment proposals


Kochi: Describing the two-day ASCEND Kerala 2020 global investors meet, organised by the state department of industries, as a grand success, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said about Rs 1 lakh crore worth investment proposals have been received.

At the valedictory session of the event, he said Rs 32008 crore proposals were received at the event from 138 projects. Besides, Kerala infrastructure Fund Management Ltd. and Abu Dhabi investment Authority have also promised huge investment. The former has signed for one project but have earmarked Rs 8110 crore for six projects. The latter has promised to invest Rs 66900 crore for logistics park and other projects.

“ The total investment proposals will come to Rs 98708 crore. The government will also approach some investors who couldn’t make it to the event but have expressed willingness to invest ,individually and seek their support. This could take the proposals to Rs 1 lakh crore,’’ Vijayan said.

Among other prominent investment promises received are Kitex group-Rs 3500 crore, MSME Consoritum- Rs 2050 crore, Joy Alukkas-Rs 1500 crore, Ashique Chemicals and Cosmetics- Rs 1000 crore, Aerotropolis Kannur- Rs 1000 crore and Delwan group, Qatar- Rs 1000 crore.

To dispel the notions spread by some people that Kerala doesn’t encourage investment, the government will aim at making the state one of the top five business friendly investment friendly destinations in the country, he said.

There would not be any intermediaries between prospective entrepreneurs looking for investment in Kerala and the authorities, Vijayan said. “One can apply directly at several levels starting from the village office to the CMO,” he added.

The government will seriously consider complaints against top officers who are indifferent or negative in their response to industrial investments, Vijayan said, adding a meeting will be convened to sort out the matter by facilitating interaction between top bureaucrats and representatives of the investment community.

Noting that the government will accord priority to completing the projects proposed in ASCEND 2020, Vijayan said the government needed skilled labour across sectors. “We are in talks with various universities to improve the standards of Kerala’s courses in skills,” he added.

The government will pay special consideration to the investment proposals from MSMEs at the ASCEND, while care will be taken to desist from projects that have a negative ecological impact.

ASCEND 2020 saw 100-odd projects, ratified by KPMG as viable, presented across sectors such as petrochemicals, agro and food-processing, defence, life sciences, aeropolis, tourism and hospitality, ports and harbour, fisheries, infrastructure, mobility development, logistics and electronic hardware.