KOCHI: A six-member delegation from the Kitex group led by chairman and managing director Sabu M Jacob will on Friday hold talks with the Telangana government on implementing the Rs 3,500-crore project — earlier planned to be set up in Kerala — in that state.
A special representative of the Telangana government will arrive in a private jet in Kochi on Friday morning to escort the Kitex delegation to Hyderabad. The jet carrying the delegation will leave Kochi at 10.30am.
Telangana Industries Minister K T Rama Rao had held initial round of talks with Sabu after which he invited the Kitex CMD to Hyderabad. The minister has arranged a dinner in honour of the Kitex CMD on Friday, which will be attended by Telangana’s top industrialists. Kitex directors Benny Joseph and K L V Narayanan, vice-president (operations) Harkishen Singh Sodhi, chief finance officer Bobby Michael and general manager Saji Kurian will accompany Sabu.
As many as nine states had invited Sabu to invest in their states after he announced the decision to scrap the project in Kerala alleging harassment by the government.
“Telangana has been ranked number one in ease-of-doing business in the country. It has a separate incentive package for the textile industry which provides more employment opportunities compared to other industries. Leading textile business leaders like Welspun have established their units in the state. We will explore the possibility of investing in Telangana based on the outcome of Friday’s talks,” Sabu told TNIE.
Kerala does not have an industrial policy: Kitex CMD
He said the situation is not favourable for a rethink on reviving the D3,500-crore project in Kerala. Though Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was very proactive in his approach, the approach of the government machinery and party was not favourable.
“In 2019, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had convened a meeting of industrialists on creating an industry-friendly environment in the state. He patiently heard the suggestions of the industrialists and sat through the three-hour long meeting. We felt a difference in his approach which encouraged us to present the Rs 3,500-crore project at Ascend 2020 Global Investors Meet. But we understood that the system has not changed. Kerala does not have an industrial policy. All other southern states have a separate package for textile industry, but Kerala has never thought of such a system,” said Sabu.