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Kerala's image yet to change: Karim

Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Industries Minister Elamaram Karim has said though Kerala's industrial scene had undergone sweeping changes, the State's image outside left much to be desired.

Chairing a session on ‘Kerala's Industrial Investment Potential' at the ongoing International Congress on Kerala Studies here on Sunday, Mr. Karim said the impression that wealth creation was a crime should go if the State were to attract private investment. Wealth creation was inevitable for progress and Kerala would be able to retain its skilled talent pool only if it attracted private investment, particularly in IT and biotechnology, he said.

Mr. Karim said despite all the changes, several unhealthy tendencies prevailed in the State. He also cited procedural delays and the negative attitude of bureaucrats as reasons for the State's inability to attract ample private investment. Although the State had gone in for a legislation to establish a single window clearance system, it could hardly be termed a success. A study of 17 ideal investment destinations conducted by the World Bank had ranked Kochi at the 16 {+t} {+h} position, he pointed out.

The former Additional Chief Secretary Lida Jacob said Kerala could emulate South East Asian countries like Japan, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia, which had gone in for the ‘One Village, One Product' strategy to take local products to the global market. This would help enhance rural incomes and promote self-reliance, she said.

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