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RIL plans LPG pipeline, CNG outlets in Kerala
Suresh Menon in Thrissur | January 16, 2003 12:33 IST
Reliance Industries has expressed interest in setting up some crucial projects in oil, infotech and infrastructure sectors in Kerala and the same would be announced at the first-ever Global Investors Meet slated for January 18 and 19 in Kochi.
A Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation official said some of the projects being contemplated by RIL include an LPG supply pipeline, compressed natural gas retail outlets across the state, a gas-based power project and even rebuilding of bus stations with commercial complexes.
Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani, the only industrialist from India who would be speaking at the function to be inaugurated by Prime Minister A B Vajpayee, is expected to officially unveil the broadband optical cable network of Reliance Infocomm from Thiruvanathapuram to Kasargod.
The state government has also held talks with industrial majors such as Tata, Mahindra and Mahindra, among others, on making investments in Kerala.
Essar Constructions, Industrial Leasing & Financial Services, British Punj, Dolomite Bernard and ARA Corporation are among the 32 top companies that have expressed interest in implementing 12 of the 40 projects for which expression of interest were invited by KSIDC during the last one year.
Among leading multinational corporations, Rolls Royce and British Telecom are the ones that have shown interest in setting up projects in Kerala.
According to the KSIDC official, while Rolls Royce is keen on putting up an aircraft maintenance facility in Nedumbassery airport, British Telecom is said to be planning a telecommunication networks.
Meanwhile, in what could be termed as a major achievement of the UDF (United Democratic Front) government, Chief Minister A K Antony, after visiting the campus of Infosys Technologies on January 7 said that the Indian software major's top management, led by its chairman and chief mentor N R Narayana Murthy, has expressed a desire to set up a software development center in Kerala.
The company has requested the state government to provide assistance for selecting a suitable site for the centre and for getting the required administrative clearances.
According to knowledgeable sources, the state government has already started work on identifying 25 acres of land to suit the specifications of the IT major's new venture.
A team from Infosys is expected to visit the state later this month to finalise the site and the proposed software development centre is likely to commence operations during this calendar year itself.
It is expected to invest about Rs 300 crore (Rs 3 billion) in the proposed development centre and provide employment to around 1,500 people.
Coming as a prelude to the GIM slated for January 18 and 19, the announcement of Infosys has given a boost to the state's attempts for attracting private investment.
The company's proposal would also prove to be the long overdue breakthrough that successive governments in Kerala have been looking for in its search for industrial development and employment generation.
Apart from A B Vajpayee and Mukesh Ambani, Divestment Minister Arun Shourie as well as deputy chairman of the Planning Commission K C Pant have confirmed their participation at the GIM inaugural function.
The importance that the state attaches to this forthcoming summit can be gauged from the fact that the chief minister has directed the entire Cabinet to be present at the two-day event.
According to the programme schedule for GIM, each minister will preside over the meeting between investors and top officials of the government.