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IIT for Kerala being considered: PM

PM would lay the foundation stone for the Kochi metro linking Aluva to Petta tomorrow

BS Reporter  |  Chennai/ Kochi 

Prime minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said the proposal to set up an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kerala was under Centre's consideration.

Inaugurating the three-day biennial Emerging Kerala – Global Connect here on Wednesday, he also said the central government would support Kerala’s initiatives on the infrastructure development front.

“Our government is committed to helping and adding to the initiatives of the state government for building an improved industrial infrastructure,” he said.

The Prime Minister would lay the foundation stone for the Kochi metro linking Aluva to Petta tomorrow. The government had sanctioned the Kochi Metro rail project with a financial commitment of over Rs 5,100 crore, including central assistance.

Besides, Kochi would soon become one of the major transshipment terminals across the world as the Cabotage regulations had been relaxed for three years, he said. This would make the International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT) a major logistics and transshipment hub. He also said a lion’s share of the container traffic from India would be through this terminal.

Kerala, he said, should focus more on developing infrastructure projects as the state had high standards in all social parameters like education and healthcare.

The Prime Minister said he hoped the 'Emerging Kerala' meet, organised by the state government, industry body CII and software industry body Nasscom, would lead to new partnerships, boosting local employment and production, as well as exports.

Lauding the commitment of nonresident Keralites (NRKs), the Prime Minister said, “Two million Keralites are working abroad and their annual remittances are significant in the progress of the state as they invest in projects like hotels, hospitals and commercial establishments.” Twenty two per cent of the state's GDP was through the contributions of NRKs.

Singh said Kerala had links with major global economies even before globalisation. The state was connected to the world many centuries back through spices exports. Emerging Kerala was the beginning for a process to make the state a power centre of sustained social and economic growth.

The LNG terminal at Puthvype, near Kochi, which will be commissioned shortly, would increase the availability of natural gas in the state. “We would like to be driven by knowledge and innovation. Kerala should be able to capitalise its merits as an important destination for investment in India,” Singh said.

Godrej group chairman and CII president Adi Godrej announced a Centre of Excellence in the state for knowledge application for industries. The CII initiative would especially focus on the MSMEs.

First Published: Thu, September 13 2012. 00:40 IST