With several mega infrastructure projects being planned in the state, Kerala is now looking at active private sector participation in them, said P.K. Kunhalikutty, minister for industries and information technology (IT), here Monday.
Listing the infrastructure projects at the Chennai leg of the roadshow of Kerala's mega-investor meet 'Emerging Kerala' to be held in Kochi this September, Kunhalikutty said: "The High Speed Rail Corridor project connecting Thiruvananthapuram to Mangalore envisages an investment of Rs.45,000 crore in the first phase."
He added: "A National Investment and Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ) is being established in the Kochi-Palakkad Industrial Corridor Region at an estimated total cost of Rs.52,000 crore. The Rs.2,000 crore Supplementary Gas Infrastructure Project envisages city gas distribution in Kerala, in addition to gas-based small power generation plants."
"In addition, projects like the Vizhinjam International Container Trans-shipment Terminal, Kochi Metro Rail, Kannur International Airport, Life Sciences Park and Electronic Hub are being accorded top priority by the state government. Private sector participation will be encouraged in all these projects and sectors," he said.
He said that 'Emerging Kerala' will be a perfect platform for corporate and business leaders to converge and deliberate on subjects of importance not just to Kerala, but for the entire country.
"It is expected to open up new areas of business and investment in Kerala. The business-to-business and business-to-government connects will help in crystallising new projects and ideas," Kunhalikutty added.
Stressing that the Kerala government has a clear development agenda to attract investments, Kunhalikutty said the government's priority is to have long-term sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
He said the state has identified environment-friendly sectors like IT, IT-enabled services, knowledge and education, tourism, healthcare, food, agro-processing, ports, ship building, logistics, energy including green energy and others.
"Our aim is to convert Kerala into an entrepreneurial society. Various skill development and training programmes have been rolled out for equipping the younger generation of the state with entrepreneurial skills, befitting the current day technology and environment," he said.