Minister reacts to Kitex's charge, to support all investors

·2-min read

Kochi, June 30 (PTI): Responding to allegations that the prevailing atmosphere in Kerala was not conducive for launching any business, State Industries Minister P Rajeev on Wednesday said the industrial sector was on the path of revival and offered the government's full support to genuine investors.

His statement comes a day after Kitex Garments Ltd, a major industrial group in the State, announced withdrawal from a Rs 3,500-crore investment project, alleging harassment by State government officials.

In a statement, Rajeev said though the government has not received any official complaint from the Kitex, the issue would be taken seriously.

He said no inspections were carried out in the Kitex units by the officials of the Industries Department.

The inspections were carried out by other departments and sectoral magistrates, Rajeev said.

The sectoral magistrates are appointed by the government to take steps to control spread of COVID-19.

Soon after the complaints of Kitex came to the notice of the government, the State industries secretary was asked to submit a report, he said.

'The issues raised by Kitex will be taken seriously.

The matter related to other departments will be examined at the higher level,' Rajeev said while offering all support to those who wish to launch and run industries in the State through legal means.

He urged the industries to take up the issues they face directly to the State government to resolve them through democratic means.

'If there are any complaints, it is advisable to inform the government and seek redressal. We urge everyone to refrain from making public statements that could defame the State before seeking the possibility of the redressal mechanism,' the Minister said.

Kitex Garments Ltd had said it has decided to withdraw from the project signed during the 'Ascend Global Investors Meet' organised by the State government in Kochi in January 2020.

In a statement, Sabu Jacob, chairman of Kitex group, had said it was difficult for him to run the existing industrial units in the State.

He had alleged that various units of Kitex were raided 10 times by officials from various departments during the past one month.

Jacob had alleged that officials, comprising 40-50 in numbers, entered the factory units, carried out searches, prevented workers, including women employees, from doing their job, grilled them and harassed them.

He had also claimed that the officials did not reveal the reasons for conducting such searches and what violations were committed by the company. PTI TGB NVG NVG

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