THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: On Friday, it was Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who opened the floor for trading at the London Stock Exchange (LSE). In a proud moment for the state, masala bonds of the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) have been listed on LSE. Pinarayi has become the first Chief Minister from the country to be invited for opening trade at the LSE. The ceremony was also attended by Finance Minister Thomas Isaac and KIIFB CEO K M Abraham. The government proposes to collect Rs 3,500 crore from the international market for rebuilding Kerala.
The KIIFB floated masala bonds for Rs 2,150 crore to attract investments for Kerala’s infrastructure development. The KIIFB bonds will be listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange also.
After opening the floor for trading, Pinarayi said non-availability of funds won’t stand in the way of basic infrastructure development in the state. He also invited UK entrepreneurs to invest in Kerala’s tourism sector.
The Chief Minister said the state is committed to ensuring better infrastructure to attract investments. Fund crunch would not be an issue for infrastructure facilities. The government has been making an intervention with a clear understanding of the state’s backwardness as an industrial-friendly state. The state has already created an effective policy framework to ensure ease of doing business.
“Necessary modifications have been made in the rules and administrative procedures. The government has taken a number of steps to create an investor-friendly environment, including a single-window system for online clearance to industries.
Filing of tax returns has been made online,” he said, adding all procedural formalities for industrial clearance have been made simple and transparent. Pinarayi, however, added the government will ensure that industrialisation won’t have an adverse impact on the environment. Major IT companies have already set up offices in government-run IT parks. In addition, the government is able to invite investments in other sectors also.
The government has been giving high priority to provide jobs to the educated youths. “Improving basic infrastructure, creating high-value human resources and creating opportunities for better investments are some of the fundamental decisions of the government,” he said.
The Chief Minister pointed out through a substantial share of foreign tourists to Kerala is from Britain, the state’s tourism sector does not have enough investments from the UK. Steps should be taken to address this issue. “Kerala is investor-friendly not only in words, but also in its deeds,” Pinarayi said, extending an invite to entrepreneurs from the UK.