Kerala: State's Largest Private Sector Employer Kitex Garments Scraps Rs 3,500 cr Project Alleging Relentless Harassment By CPM-led Govt
Kitex Garments, the world’s second-largest manufacturer of kids apparel, announced that it will be scrapping a Rs 3,500 crore project for which it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Kerala government.
"Whoever Invests In Kerala Will Lose Peace Of Mind And Will Be Driven To Suicide" Kitex chairman Sabu M Jacob
In a big setback to Kerala, the biggest private sector employer in the state announced that it was withdrawing from a Rs 3,500 crore investment project alleging incessant harassment by officials of the CPM-led government.
Kerala languishes at the bottom of the table in attracting investments and ranks 28th in 'ease of doing business' index.
Kitex Garments, the world’s second-largest manufacturer of kids apparel, announced that it will be scrapping a Rs 3,500 crore project for which it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Kerala government at the 'Ascend Global Investors Meet' in Kochi in January 2020. The plan was to open an apparel park in Kochi and establish industry parks at Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Palakkad. The three apparel parks in Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad, proposed to be set up as part of the industrial corridor, would have potentially created at least 35,000 people.
“Almost every day, officials of the government department descend on the premises of the company and makes inquiries as if we committed a big fraud. I am fed up with continuous harassment. The government treats us like bourgeoises, exploiter capitalists and land encroachers. Enough is enough,” Kitex chairman Sabu M Jacob said.
“If the situation continues like this, the state will turn a graveyard of industries. While neighbouring states roll out red carpets for industries, we are hounding them out. No doubt, the existing climate will drive entrepreneurs to suicide,” he said, adding that the latest to inspect his premises were officials from the pollution control board.
Jacob said he that the group is consider shifting some of the existing units to other states .
"We have already acquired 30 acres of land for the apparel park at Kizhakkambalam in Kochi. The project report has also been completed and the project would have provided jobs for 20,000 people. The three industrial parks were envisaged to promote start-ups providing all infrastructural facilities. Each of these parks would have created 5,000 job opportunities." Sabu Jacob said.
"Whoever invests in Kerala will lose peace of mind and will be driven to suicide," Sabu Jacob added.
Sabu Jacob said that other states are providing free land, building, water, power and tax holiday for 10 years to investors.
"There are states that provide the PF and ESI share of the employees. Some states even offer Rs 5,000 salary for the employees for five years. We don't demand any benefits from the government. At least they can stop harassing us. If the situation continues, Kerala will turn into a graveyard of industries," Sabu Jacob stated.
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