'Whatever your politics is': Shashi Tharoor's message on exit of Kitex from Kerala
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Sunday expressed regret at the departure of Kitex from Kerala and said the state government should be doing everything to support investors as Kerala is a state in which industrialists are "reluctant to invest" which, as he said, is affecting the employment situation for the talented people of Kerala. "Whatever your politics, it's hard not to feel regret at Kitex's departure from Kerala," the Thiruvananthapuram MP said.
Garment firm Kitex has recently pulled out a ₹35,000 crore proposed project from Kerala and chose Telangana for investment and said that the decision was not voluntary. For the reason of the exit, he blamed the Kerala government's "witch-hunt and apathy".
Tharoor also shared an open letter written by Eram Group chairman Dr Sideek Ahmed, in which Ahmed appealed to both the Kerala government and Kitex to have an amicable discussion.
Kitex group managing director Sabu Jacob has recently hit out at the Kerala government and said that the policies of the government are 50 years old. Even after he approached the government with his grievances, he got no response. Instead, industry minister R Rajeev started blaming him, Sabu alleged. "Kerala has to learn many lessons from its neighbours. Otherwise, It will become a graveyard of industries," Sabu said.
What is the big Kitex versus Kerala tussle?
According to Jacob, the government has treated it as "bourgeoises, exploiter capitalists, and land encroachers". Last month, government officials visited the premises of the company and made inquiries "as if they have committed a big fraud". Industry minister R Rajeev said the exit was unfortunate and the government was willing to talk to Jacob. “It is an unfortunate decision. It seems Jacob has made up his mind long before. He is leaving the state when many major companies have decided to set up their shops in Kerala,” Rajeev said. The minister also clarified that those visits at the firm were primarily because of complaints lodged with the National Human Rights Commission and many of them were filed by Congress leaders.
How did Telangana grab the opportunity?
Telangana minister KR Rama Rao rolled out a red carpet for the Kitex group. He also sent a provate jet to Kochi to take Jacob. "Delighted to announce the entry of KITEX group, world’s 2nd largest manufacturer of kids apparel into Telangana with an initial investment of ₹1,000 Cr. They’ve chosen KMTP, Warangal for their factories. My gratitude to Mr Sabu M Jacob, MD of KITEX group on a quick decision," KTR tweeted.