Kerala aims to be among top 5 investment friendly states: CM

Kochi, Jan 9 (IANS) Kerala aims to be counted among the top five investment-friendly states in the country, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Thursday, inaugurating the two-day investor meet Ascend 2020 here.
Organised by the state Department of Industries, the event is showcasing around 100 projects for investors.
“Various agencies have placed Kerala on top of their lists by various indicators which are considered by investors when looking to invest in India. Today, on account of these, Kerala remains among the top destinations for investors. In a decade from now, we are working to see that unemployment will be wiped out from the state,” Vijayan said.
“We have taken numerous steps to speed up the sanctioning of licenses for investors, like having single window clearances and a 30-day clearances for various licenses. We are also contemplating removing restrictions on land holdings for those projects which have an investment of above Rs 250 crore and which provide employment to more than 1,000 people,” he said.
He also noted that laws would be rewritten to enable employers to employ women at night, provided their safety is ensured.
“Adequate subsidy will also be provides to employers for five years,” he added.
The event, however, appears to have lost its sheen, with the Congress-led opposition UDF boycotting the event, terming it a fraud.
The government has also drawn flak for the way the entire state was brought to a standstill the whole of Wednesday, following the day-long nationwide protest strike called by 10 central trade unions.
In Kerala, ruled by the CPI-M-led Left alliance, the Bharat Bandh strike call witnessed a total shutdown, unlike in other parts of the country.
Another incident on Wednesday, that has shaken the state, saw the 2013 Nobel winner Micheal Levitt and his family cancelling their houseboat ride midway, after their boat on the famed backwaters was not allowed to proceed by striking workers beyond the noted tourist destination of Kumarakom.
On Thursday morning on the instructions of Vijayan, two District Collectors went to apologise personally on behalf of the state to the Nobel laureate for the disruption caused to the latter’s boat travel.

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