KOCHI: The Special Economic Zone at Kakkanad will soon go on an expansion spree as the Union Minister of State for External and Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharan has promised the Centre’s support in this regard. The expansion will take place by allocating additional land at HMT Kalamassery. He was speaking at an interaction with exporters organised by Cochin Export Processing Zone Industries Association (CEPZIA) here on Sunday.
The event witnessed the presidential address by Hibi Eden, MP, and was attended by P T Thomas, MLA; D V Swamy, Cochin Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) development commissioner; K K Pillai, president, CEPZIA; and Shamsudheen K, vice-president, CEPZIA.
“Land availability is a major issue in Kerala. Despite having many surplus land, our governments have not utilised them so far. Due to the lack of space, Cochin Shipyard has been missing many foreign orders. With limited space, the PSU’s growth has dwindled over the years. The Union Minister of Shipping has promised support to develop an extension of the shipyard at a different location in the state. Similarly, the government will initiate steps to address the expansion of Kochi export processing zone,” said Muraleedharan.
The minister praised the CSEZ’s role in the state’s industrial growth. “Cochin Export Processing Zone, under the Cochin Special Economic Zone has played a pivotal role in the growth of Kerala’s economy. To ensure its growth, the Union Government has announced several policies and actions through the recent budget,” he said.
Various structural changes have been initiated by the Union Government to achieve the target of $5 trillion economy. “We have been bringing in various measures to fuel industrial growth. The government recently passed a law for arbitration centres for industrial units across the country. It will help SEZs to address the investor disputes within a stipulated period and protect the investments. The insolvency and bankruptcy code is also a major development for the entrepreneurs,” he said.
Earlier, CSEZ officials demanded the minister’s intervention for the development of industrial units under the ambit of the agency. “If we get the land at a reasonable rate, the industrial area can be expanded with basic infrastructure,” said D V Swamy.