To promote asset growth of municipalities and corporations in the state, the state government’s ‘Partner Kerala’ urban development programme will be formally launched here on Monday.
A total of 84 projects worth `6,315 crore will be showcased at the event. Investors interested in staking claim with the municipalities and corporations for the growth of their town or city will be given an opportunity to hold discussions with the local body concerned.
Addressing reporters here, Urban Affairs Minister Manjalamkuzhi Ali said that three corporations and 25 municipalities will participate in the meet. “Over 500 investors have already registered for the event that aims at attracting investments primarily from individuals who want to have a stake in the growth of their home towns and cities, and contribute to their local communities,” the minister said. An Expression of Interest will be signed between the interested parties and the local bodies at the event, he added.
The partnership agreement will only be signed after detailed discussions with the concerned local body. The Detailed Project Report (DPR) will be formed after finalisation of the procedures.
“Since the project will be implemented through the partnership of private parties, we expect the work of the projects to be completed in a time-bound manner. Also, we opted for private partnership as we can be assured of the maintenance of the projects. Any tax relaxation to the private players for their role in the project is yet to be considered,” he said.
The private partnership in these projects will be implemented under the strict norms of the Centre as well as the state government. “The state government will spend `2 crore for the promotion of the projects. The rest of the funds and the assets, including land and property, will be provided by the local body,” Manjalamkuzhi Ali said.
The minister added that the primary goal of the event is to identify, formulate and implement bankable urban infrastructure development projects to give a new face to urban Kerala.
“These projects should be self-sustainable, and must strengthen the economic base of the urban local bodies while ensuring inclusive and equitable growth through large-scale employment and income generation.” According to officials, the ‘Partner Kerala’ meet is an attempt to help the cash-strapped local bodies in the state to generate revenue. The minister added that the government will take steps to ensure speedy clearance of projects as per the prescribed norms. Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi will inaugurate the meet at Taj Gateway Hotel near Marine Drive here on Monday.
Finance Minister K M Mani will deliver the keynote address while Manjalamkuzhi Ali will deliver the presidential address. Public Works Minister V K Ibrahim Kunju, MLAs Hibi Eden, S Sarma and Dominic Presentation, Kozhikode Mayor A K Padmajam, Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany, Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) chairman N Venugopal, Kalamassery municipal chairman Jamal Manakkadan, Secretary of Local-Self Government Department Rajan Khobragade and Director of Urban Affairs E Devadasan will attend the inaugural function.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will address the meet and interact with the investors on the second day of the meet on Tuesday.
Industries Minister P K Kunjhalikutty, Fisheries Minister K Babu, Labour Minister Shibu Baby John and Civil Supplies Minister Anoop Jacob will also address the meet. The valedictory function will be inaugurated by Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala while Social Justice Minister M K Muneer will deliver the presidential address.
The investors will be offered investment opportunities in projects across a wide spectrum, including waste management, sewerage, flyovers, bridges and parking lots, bus terminals, public amenities and markets. Amenities like shopping complexes, convention centres, multiplex cinema halls and amusement parks, besides parks, street lights and hoardings will also be taken up under the project.
Kochi Corporation Deputy Mayor B Bhadra, Urban Affairs Department Director E Devadasan, Regional Joint Director Sasidharan, Partner Kerala coordinator Kabeer B Haroon and Health Standing Committee chairman T K Ashraf attended.