Kerala now a 'destination of choice' for investors, says Pinarayi Vijayan
Pinarayi Vijayan says the state has been relentlessly working to ensure that Kerala becomes a destination of choice for global investors.
Kerala is transforming into “a destination of choice” for global investors, says Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, whose government has rolled out a series of investor-friendly reforms soon after coming to power for the second time in a row.
In his interview with Khaleej Times, the Kerala chief minister said a string of pro-investor reforms the ruling LDF has initiated include the creation of a single-window system to address investors’ grievances and concerns and clearance and vetting of investor proposals in a time-bound manner.
On his government’s plans to woo new investors, Vijayan said the state has been relentlessly working to ensure that Kerala becomes a destination of choice for global investors. “I am happy to note that many top-line companies have come to Kerala, especially in the IT sector. There has been a boom in the startup ecosystem. It is true that we need to travel farther and faster. I am sure that the resilience that we have demonstrated in fighting the calamities and pandemic has caught the imagination of many.”
He said he had personally instructed officials to ensure that investor proposals need to be vetted and cleared in a time-bound manner. “The single-window system that we have introduced to address investors’ grievances and concerns, and other pro-investor friendly initiatives, including auto-clearance of projects below a stipulated investment size, have a positive impact among entrepreneurs. The government is initiating steps to create awareness so that genuine investments are facilitated. We would certainly see positive results in the coming months.”
On how the cash-strapped state planned to get the funding required for the ambitious welfare and development programmes, the minister said the government had relied on debt for various development schemes. The Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board as an organisation has become a role model for the country. Taking loans for development is something that will help the state in the long run.
“It’s true that NRI remittances have come down. NRI contributions to the Indian GDP stood at 3.4 per cent in 2018. Each NRI money transfer adds to the state’s foreign exchange pool. Today we are very proud that Kerala has topped the list of states, accounting for about 19 per cent share, or $13.11 billion (approximately Rs950 billion) of the total remittances of $69 billion that India received last year,” he said.
Quoting the latest estimates published in the World Bank's Migration and Development Brief, he said the amount of money migrant workers will send home is projected to decline by 14 per cent by 2021.
“These are data available in the formal channel. But I should say this should not deter us from tapping NRI investments. With the pandemic and the adverse social situation in many parts of the world, our people have realised the strength of the homeland. High human resource index, quality health system, harmonious living etc. will certainly make NRKs to look up to Kerala,” Vijayan said.
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