It is now clear that there will be no way to benchmark whether ‘Emerging Kerala 2012’ will be a success or not as the state govt has opted to take anticipatory bail by deciding not to sign any MoU for the projects that will come up at the meet. Therefore, the govt is in no danger of ‘Emerging Kerala’ being compared with the likes of ‘Vibrant Gujarat’, rated as the most successful investors meet in the country.
Speaking at an interface with Editors here on Thursday, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy reiterated the UDF Govt’s resolve that it would move towards the signing of any MoU and later a letter of interest (LoI) only in due course of time, after all kinds of clearances are procured.
The list of prominent captains of industry showcased by the Kerala Govt appeared woefully inadequate as there was no Cyrus Mistry, Mukesh or Anil Ambani, Kumaramagalam Birla, Azim Premji, Shashi or Ravi Ruia.
With the CM making it evident what kind of investments the state was seeking through this meet, clearly there will be no space for any of these industry captains except perhaps Premji.
Of course, the entire list of CEOs of automobile majors is completely missing from the list.
Both the Chief Minister and Industries Minister P K Kunhalikutty made light of the charge that positioning of ‘Emerging Kerala’ has proven to be a public relations disaster.
Now, it will be up to the soon-to-be-set-up Investment Clearance Board to vet each proposal and grant it the required clearance. Meanwhile, Kerala will continue to grapple with bad roads, inadequate waste disposal mechanism and the everlasting spectre of hartals.