Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government unveiled an action plan on 13 June to convert the state into a favoured investment destination by promoting public-private partnership in infrastructure development and offering to set up exclusive industrial parks for NRI investors.
While the policy speaks about setting up product-specific special economic zones, industries minister Elamaram Kareem told reporters that in a state like Kerala, large quantum of land like 30,000 acres could not be set apart for SEZs.
However, the LDF government was of the view that since the Centre had come out with such a scheme, Kerala alone should not keep away from that policy.
“We should also get the benefits of the scheme,” he said.
The SEZs coming up for electronic parks require only 350 acres of land, while product-specific SEZs would need 25-350 acres, he pointed out. Six applications from private entrepreneurs for setting up SEZs were now awaiting clearance.
The state government expected an investment of Rs10,000 crore in new-generation industries in the near future, he said.
To capitalise on the potential in food processing, it was proposed to develop mega zones in select districts and create umbrella brands for the state’s agro-products.
To avoid confrontation for getting land for expansion of industries, developers would be allowed a ‘call option’ on buying adjacent land in future by remitting an annual premium to the government for a fixed period of years, Kareem said.
While acquiring land for industrial purpose, landowners would get the market value and, as far as possible, farm land would not be used for industry, he added.
Claiming the new policy was ‘investor-friendly’, he said the state was likely to simplify the process for starting an industry by strengthening the ‘single window’ clearance system. At present, an entrepreneur has to get clearances from nine departments.
State-run public sector units would be strengthened by technological upgradation and diversification and synergising with Central Public Sector Undertakings, he said.
The traditional industrial sector would be protected along with setting up of three industrial corridors for development of new generation industries like IT, ITeS, biotechnology, hitech electronic, food processing and textiles.