The Kerala government said on Sunday it is helping Nissan Motors to develop a research hub for driverless cars and electric vehicles in state capital Thiruvananthapuram, reacting after reports that the company had run into red tape.
Reports said Nissan had sent a letter to the state government pointing out that it was promised single-window clearance to set up the hub and related facilites, but it had to approach various government departments for approvals. The company said duty waive-offs promised by the government had not materialized. It wanted a direct flight between Tokyo and Thiruvananthapuram.
Vijayan, who was answering questions from the public on his social media page, said a meeting he and his officials held with Nissan representatives had addressed issues raised in the company’s letter.
"The company is expecting that there should be a flight connectivity between Tokyo and Thiruvananthapuram. The state government alone cannot do that. But we have taken whatever steps we can. We have met the Civil Aviation Secretary and after the Parliament session, a meeting between the Civil Aviation Secretary, state government officials and airline companies will be held in Thiruvananthapuram," said Vijayan.
"We are doing whatever we can do in these issues. Nissan is fully aware of this and they are satisfied. Our aim is to keep the company here itself by taking all the necessary steps. That is required for the future of Kerala. I would request to those who are spreading such negative waves to consider that there are several companies like Nissan and our interest should be to keep them here in Kerala," he said.
An official at Technopark, the IT centre where Nissan’s hub is located, said the government has supported the carmaker to expand to 600 employees in a year's time.
"We have provided land at very low cost and also sanctioned import duty, stamp duty exemptions a week back. Nissan when decided to set shop in Trivandrum, took this decision knowing well that a Tier-2 city like Trivandrum has its many advantages and some development initiatives will take time," said the official.