After a fallout with the Kerala government, a delegation from Kitex – a garment major – is on its way to Hyderabad in a ‘special flight’ sent by the Telangana government.
The standoff between the Kerala government and Kitex garments with regards to a Rs 3,500 crore project initially proposed for Kerala has taken a new turn with an invitation from Telangana’s K.T. Rama Rao, Industries Minister to hold discussions over the project.
As per reports, a delegation from Telangana will first arrive in Kochi on Friday to discuss possible investments, following which the delegation will accompany Kitex’s team to Hyderabad.
Kitex Managing Director Sabu Jacob informed that he along with a five-member team would be heading to Hyderabad Friday by a special jet flight sent by the Telangana government.
“We have already had one round of discussions with Telangana Industry Minister KT Rama Rao. They have offered excellent facilities and support for the Rs 3,500 crore project, which we have abandoned in Kerala. Telangana has invited us following our announcement to cancel the apparel project in Kerala,” he said.
Accusing leaders of the CPM and Congress in Kerala of seeing his firm “as traitors,” and elaborating on the existing hurdles, Jacob said, “We have no plan to make further investment in Kerala. It is already difficult for us to run the existing garment unit in Ernakulam. Then, how can we plan new investments? We have already spent Rs 200 crore for the proposed project, which would have given employment to 30,000 people, apart from developing 600 small-scale ventures in the sector.”
Proposals from several states
On June 29, the largest private-sector employer in Kerala, Kitex Group, announced the withdrawal of an Rs.3,500 crore investment project from Kerala. The company alleged that the state authorities are running a witch-hunt against them.
Jacob then announced that they have got informal invites from over ten states, including Gujarat and formal invites from the state of Tamil Nadu, to shift their investments.
Fallout with Kerala government
According to Sabu M Jacob, there have been repeated instances of harassment by the government at the existing garment processing plant in Kizhakkambalam panchayat of district Ernakulam. Just before the announcement of withdrawal was made, Sabu said 11 teams of officers from various departments raided the company in the last month, including teams from the Department of labour, factories and boilers, and even a team led by the district collector.
Government denies allegations
Criticizing Kitex’s move Kerala’s Industries Minister P Rajeev had told the media, “No government department has suo motu gone for inspection at the existing manufacturing units. There have been complaints, and hence various departments have inspected the units. The KITEX management could have taken up their woes with the government. Instead, they have been criticizing the government on social media, only to tarnish it.”
The Minister did assure support to the world’s second-largest kids’ apparel manufacturer, however, Kitex is already looking for alternatives.