Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Sep 09, 2004
Industry & Economy
Kerala unveils 100-day action plan
Thiruvananthapuram , Sept. 8
THE State Government has unveiled an action plan to implement a slew of welfare and development projects in the next 100 days.
The plan includes implementation of the development agenda that had been set in motion by the Global Investors' Meet held in Kochi a couple of years ago, launching of new projects in the traditional industry sector by including them in the Common Minimum Programme of the Union Government and accelerating economic development by according priority to the information technology sector.
The Chief Minister, Mr Oommen Chandy, told newspersons after a Cabinet meeting today that along with the 100-day plan, the Government would also identify projects that could be implemented within the next one year. This would be done after detailed discussions at various levels.
He pointed out that though the finances of the State Government still posed problems on account of high salary, pension and interest payouts, it would try its best not to allow the constraints to come in the way of development and welfare programmes.
The Government will go all-out to attract more investments to the State and for this, it will seek the cooperation of non-resident Keralites. Besides, it will hold discussions with the Opposition leaders in the matter of restructuring of the public sector undertakings, says the 100-Day Action Plan released after the Cabinet meeting.
A "crash programme" to issue title deeds to 25,000 landless families is also part of the action plan. In Wayanad, a pepper re-plantation project will be launched. Efforts will also be made to expand horticultural activities in the State.
In the food sector, the plan aims at implementing "antodaya scheme" covering one-lakh more people. The other programmes in the sector include starting of 20 "labham" and five "Maveli" stores, taking steps to distribute through ration shops those items now being supplied by "Maveli" stores and making arrangements to sell "Kudumbasree" products through the `Maveli' stores.
In the power sector, the plan will focus on giving 1.5 lakh new domestic connections and 15,000 free connections, implementation of voltage improvement programme in 26 municipalities and construction of 20 sub-stations.
The Government will immediately give approval for new roads and bridges with a total outlay of Rs 250 crore and launch the work on them within three months. Also, roads with a total length of 6,000 kilometres will be upgraded as district roads.
The work on the bridges and roads that form part of the Hill Highway will be initiated during the plan period.
The Government proposes to constitute 40 additional intelligence squads in the taxation department. The traders will be issued electronic identity cards.
The formation of a settlement commission is also on the anvil. In the co-operative sector, the agricultural loans will be made medium term loans and the interest will be reduced by two per cent to 8.5 per cent.
A scheme for one-time settlement dues is also part of the plan. The co-operative societies will make available loans for taking up rainwater harvesting projects.
The Government will form a company for the implementation of Vizhnijam port. This apart, the work on the development of Beypore and Azhikkal ports will be taken up.
In the tourism sector, the action plan lays stress on opening of an international convention centre in Thiruvananthapuram, establishment of a Marina project in Kochi, encouraging eco-tourism and realising the `Dream City' project in Kozhikode.
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