The Karnataka high court judgment that paves the way for Jayalalithaa’s return as chief minister is being welcomed by the Tamil Nadu Inc which claims the state had slipped into ‘action-paralysis’ for the last eight months.
Industrialists, business leaders and investors lament that “nothing seems to be moving in Tamil Nadu government, no files are processed, no decisions taken, and worse – no one seems willing to meet.”
The Metro rail project, costing Rs 15,000 crore, had been held up in Jayalalithaa’s absence. There are at least 250 Amma unavag-ams, several Amma schemes and projects that were to be inaugurated when Jayalalithaa’s conviction removed her from action. There are also 500 buses to be flagged off. Chief minister O Panneerselvam was holding the fort in her absence. Governance in the state had come to a halt, prompting DMK leader MK Stalin to mount a campaign against the state government.
A chamber official said that work on Madurai-Tuticorin industrial corridor had hardly begun. A prestigious Global Investors Meet, aimed at attracting investment worth Rs 1 lakh crore, was abruptly postponed last month. The meet will now be held on September 9-10. Prof AR Venkatachalapathy of Madras Institute of Development Studies said Jayalalithaa’s administrative skills and tough-action oriented approach will ensure that Tamil Nadu will be buzzing with activity once again.
“Now there will be someone who can take decisions,” a top company official said requesting anonymity. “But, the biggest problem will be of accessibility,” he said. A prominent commerce and industry chamber said her acquittal would pave the way for increased stability that is desperately needed in this region.
Southern India Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI) president Jawahar Vadivelu said stability of the region would have a cascading effect on the plans announced earlier and push the state on the high growth path. A senior MNC official from automotives sector hoped that the High Court order would remove the “uncertainty” plaguing the state for the past few months. “Now we would have a person who has the power and can take a decision,” he said.
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