Kochi: The Kerala government will give relaxation on land ceiling norms to those who come forward to invest and generate employment opportunities in the state, said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Friday.
“We have been facing several road blocks when it comes to attracting investment to the state and issues regarding to land has been one of the major road blocks. As per the current policy, a person cannot hold land in excess of 15 acres..
“The government has decided to give relaxation to this policy with certain conditions in order to attract investors to the state,” said Chandy while inaugurating the two-day Global NRK Meet organized by Department of Norka and Norka-Roots here.
According to the proposal, if a person agrees to make a Rs.5 crore investment, he would be allowed to hold an acre of land in excess and the same relaxation would also be given to those who come up with a project that promises employment to at least 20 people.
“These projects and investments will be considered as a public purpose and the government will extend all possible support to it. The government is looking forward to the support from NRKs in making considering investments in the technology sector in the state,” said Chandy.
He also highlighted the need to make the NRK meet an annual event rather than a biennial one.
“Currently, the NRK meet is organized once in two years. The government is willing to organize the event every year as it is the perfect platform for the NRKs to raise their issues and discuss it with the government,” he added.
In his presidential address, Norka Minister K.C.Joseph said the issues faced by the NRKs had increased manifold in recent years and the government was committed to providing all possible help to them.
Finance Minister K.M. Mani said the NRKs were the major contributors to the state’s economy and the foreign remittance to the state was nearly Rs 85,000 crore.
“In the recent times, Nitaqat has been one of the serious issues faced by the NRKs and the state government has formulated several welfare schemes to support the returnees,” he said, referring to many Gulf states’ new policy to keep a percentage of jobs for indigenous populations.
He said that in order to support those returnees who wanted to start their own enterprise, the Kerala Financial Corporation (KFC) will provide an interest-free loan up to Rs.20 lakh while the state government will offer 10 percent capital participation fund.
IT and Industries Minister P.K. Kunhalikutty said that the government was actively considering to promote private industrial parks in the state.
“Those who have land can set up private industrial parks and the government will extend all possible support to such projects. We want the NRKs to come forward and make considerable investment in the state,” he added.
Fisheries, Ports and Excise Minister K. Babu said that the NRKs should come forward to make investment in projects like coastal shipping and Kannur airport.
Close to a 1000 people, mostly the diaspora from the various Middle East countries, are attending the meet that ends Saturday.