Saturday, August 1, 2009

Global Investors Coming to Kerala

The memories of the catastrophic end of the earlier Global Investment Meet are still live in our minds. It came with much noise and celebration promising flow of billions of dollars making Kerala an El Dorado. Forget the billions not a single paise came as investment here so far. Another pompous show in the name of investment is in the offing. This time a little change in the name, World Investors Meet to be held on 24th and 25th in Kochi. All the development corporations or agencies of the Government of Kerala are in this conclave.

Everybody knows that considering the unique geographical features, (Kerala is full of streams, rivers, lakes, hills, and forests) and because of the dense population it is ideal only for small industries. Land cannot be procured for large industrial units like in Singur, which had become the Waterloo of West Bengal Marxist party. Our predecessors having this vision have started industries suited to our condition and which produce our essential requirements. Most of these factories are in public sector and are now either closed or on the verge of closure. What we need is to revive these factories rather than going for new big industries.

All the existing units are viable and will cater to the basic needs of Kerala which will contribute a lot in the economic growth of our state. M/s. Kerala Soaps Ltd. can easily produce all the soaps needed for Kerala and Kerala Detergents & Chemicals can meet the need of detergents for washing clothes. The products can be sold through rations shops and other cooperative public distribution systems. Kerala Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Ltd. can produce most of the medicines supplied to Government Hospitals which at present we buy from outside on exorbitant costs. We need a lot of clothes for school uniforms, as linen in hotels and hospitals. Even with all our textile mills working in full steam we may find it difficult to meet the demand. Further many existing units can diversify. M/s.Travancore Titanium Products can start manufacturing Paint,M/s. Kerala Ceramics sanitary wares and M/s. Alind electric wires and cables, all in huge demand in Kerala. TELK, KEL can produce transformers and like and United electrical all types of meters. A lot more can be done in other units with innovative ideas.

This time investers seem to go to rural areas also, with search of land in progress. We had many industrial estates and mini-industrial estates in rural areas which are now lying idle. Why cant we revive it instead of going for new units? If the intention is genuine and real estate business is not the hidden agenda let our developers woo the investors improve the existing facilities.

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