Trivandrum: The Kerala government has sought the Centre’s approval for the Kochi-Palakkad National Investment & Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ) – a Rs.53, 825-crore mega industrial infrastructure project that will give a major boost to the manufacturing sector in the state and remove regional imbalances.
A detailed project report for the NIMZ, prepared by the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC), was sent to the central government for approval. It requested notification of the NIMZ, approval for Master Plan Study and Viability Gap Funding for the project.
“The Centre has now asked for some more details from the state government in the prescribed format for giving clearance to the project. This has been prepared and is being submitted to the Centre,” said P. K Kunhalikutty, Minister for Industries and IT.
A showpiece project of the Emerging Kerala Global Connect event, the NIMZ is to be executed in PPP mode. It is estimated that the scheme will generate direct employment of five lakhs over a period of five years, and indirect employment of 25 lakhs in 10 years, the Minister added.
Kunhalikutty also said that promoting the manufacturing sector is vital, both for the state’s sustained growth and for correcting its regional and sector-wise imbalances.
Alkesh Sharma, Secretary, Industries-IP and Managing Director, KSIDC, said that Kerala has achieved substantial growth in the service sector in the past several years. The present Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of the state comprises 66% contribution from the service sector and only 22 per cent from the manufacturing sector.
“The growth of the manufacturing sector will open up huge opportunities for industrial units and give a major fillip to employment generation in Kerala,” he said, adding that it would greatly help in removing regional imbalances.
“The growth of the manufacturing sector will remove this distortion in the economy, with forward and backward linkages. Our vision is the holistic and sustainable development of an industrial NIMZ along the Kochi-Palakkad region, leveraging local resources and infrastructure facilities, without destabilising the environment,” he said.
There would be six industrial zones, two food & agro processing zones, three engineering & electronics zones, one chemical & petrochemical zone and a facility for power generation. The total extent of land proposed for the NIMZ is 5,200 hectares.