Be investor-friendly, push pace of reforms, PM tells Kerala | india | Hindustan Times
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Be investor-friendly, push pace of reforms, PM tells Kerala

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took on the Left on its turf in Kerala on Friday, asking the Left Democratic Front government to make the state an investor-friendly destination and accelerate the pace of economic reforms.

india Updated: Feb 12, 2011 01:31 IST
HT Correspondent

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took on the Left on its turf in Kerala on Friday, asking the Left Democratic Front government to make the state an investor-friendly destination and accelerate the pace of economic reforms.

He also chided the state government for failing to make use of Centrally-sponsored programmes.

On a three-day visit to the state, barely three months before the assembly polls, Singh virtually kicked off the Congress campaign, indicating that development would be the poll plank.

"The area of labour relations in factories and enterprises all across Kerala is something we need to take a close look at. Investors should not feel discouraged because of the state of the labour environment," he said, indirectly referring to some bad experiences of entrepreneurs.

At a seminar organised by the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Development Studies here, Singh said the Centre would help Kerala realise its development potential. However, in the same breath, he pointed out that the state had not derived much benefit from the Centrally-sponsored schemes "as it could have and should have".

The PM said wages of the workforce would go up if the state moved to high-end jobs after getting the requisite skills. He also emphasised the need to improve the state's physical infrastructure. "For example, while the density of roads in the State is much higher than the national average, their quality leaves much to be desired," he said.

Singh wrapped up his speech stressing Kerala needed to speed up economic reforms and create an enabling environment for private investment to create new job opportunities.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ramesh Chennithala presided over the function which was also attended by Union ministers AK Antony and Vayalar Ravi.