Kerala to tap NRKs for new infrastructure company

Friday, 16 June 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala government will float a limited company on the lines of the Cochin International Airport Limited to tap non-resident Keralites (NRKs) to raise capital for building much-needed infrastructure, Governor R.L. Bhatia said here Friday.

The governor, who was addressing the state assembly, laid out the policies of the new Left Democratic Front (LDF) government headed by V.S. Achuthanandan.

"For providing world class state of the art infrastructure as an essential condition for the rapid industrialisation of the state, my government intends to float a public limited company on the model of the Cochin International Airport Limited.

"For this, the government will tap the vast potential of NRKs across the world to raise share capital," said Bhatia.

The new company will build quality infrastructure required to attract hi-tech industries.

Apart from NRKs, the company will have participation from the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation and the Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation, both state agencies involved in the industrialisation of the state.

There are close to two million NRKs, about 90 percent of them working in the Middle East. Annual remittances from NRKs have reached the 200-billion mark, about 25 percent of the net domestic product of the state.

"The government has also planned to expand the functioning of the Non-Resident Keralites Affairs Department to meet the expectations of the NRKs. Information on Keralites working outside the state also would be collected for creating a database," the governor stated.

The new government has said they would lay emphasis on IT, tourism, traditional enterprises and agriculture.

A new IT policy was also the anvil. "The state's strength of quality manpower and connectivity infrastructure would be leveraged to create 200,000 direct jobs in the IT and IT enabled services.

"Hardware sector also would be encouraged and we would promote free and open source software (Foss) and shall strive to make the state the Foss industry destination of India. To achieve this my government would soon come out with a new IT policy," added Bhatia.

Source: IANS
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