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NoRKs seek equity participation

Staff Reporter

20% share in Kannur airport project

Kozhikode: The United Arab Emirates-based Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust has urged the State government to allocate at least 20 per cent of the equity for developing Kannur International Airport Ltd. to Non Resident Keralites (NoRKs).

The government must utilise the opportunity to explore NRK resources to its full potential for the State's infrastructural development, K.V. Shamsudheen, chairman, Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust, said.

He said the proposal for Kannur International Airport had been initially drawn up as a venture similar to Cochin International Airport Ltd. (CIAL) with participation of government and private parties, including NoRK investment. The total project cost was put at Rs.1,000 crore, he said.

However, it was now learnt that the government and its subsidiary companies would invest 50 per cent and that the government had decided to allocate the rest to three private institutions without NRI participation, Mr. Shamsudheen said.  This decision was against the government's policy of utilising NoRK resources for State's infrastructure development. The infrastructural condition of the State was pathetic.

Paradoxically, the State received an annual remittance from NoRKs almost equal to the annual State budget, he said.

Mr. Shamsudheen said the NoRKs were capable of investing for developing the Kannur airport.

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