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'Hounded Out' of Kerala, Kitex Group Announces Rs 1,000 Crore Project in Telangana

KTR with officials from the Kitex Group in Hyderabad.

KTR with officials from the Kitex Group in Hyderabad.

Alleging harassment by the Kerala government officials, the company had last week said it was withdrawing its project from the state.

Kerala-based Kitex Group will invest Rs 1,000 crores in Kakatiya Mega Textile Park in Warangal, Telangana, TRS working president and IT minister KT Rama Rao announced today.

A delegation from the firm led by its Chairman and Managing Director Sabu M Jacob had met KTR in Hyderabad earlier today to discuss setting up a textile manufacturing unit in the state.

“In principle, the Kitex Group has agreed upon a Phase- I investment of 1000 crores within a span of two years in the textile industry for the project ‘Textile Apparel’ in the Kakatiya Mega Textile Park in Warangal. This investment will generate employment of 4000 jobs in the State of Telangana," an official statement from Jacob’s office stated.

During the meeting, KTR gave an overview of the progressive industrial policies of Telangana and the availability of required resources for the textiles sector, a tweet from the office of the Minister said.

“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," KTR announced in a tweet.

Alleging harassment by the Kerala government officials, Jacob last week said his group was withdrawing its project from the State.

Sources in the Telangana government said the Industries Minister and senior officials had asked Jacob to visit the state to know about the ease of doing business there. The delegation was taken to the Kakatiya Textile Park in Warangal in a chopper to have a look at the facilities available, the sources said.

ALSO READ | Kerala and Kitex Conundrum: Why the State Lost Rs 3500-crore Project, 35000 Jobs

Hours before his meeting with KTR, the Kitex chief, who has backed out from a Rs 3,500 crore project in Kerala, had said that he was not leaving his home state on his own, but was being ‘hounded out.’ He alleged that the Kerala government authorities did not bother to interfere even after his announcement of withdrawal from the multi-crore investment project from the state.

“I’m not going on my own. I’m being hounded out, I am being kicked out..," Jacob told reporters at the airport near Kochi before he boarded a special private jet sent by the Telangana government to travel to Hyderabad.

Jacob claimed that not a single Kerala minister telephoned him to enquire about the reasons for his group’s withdrawal from investing in the state. “But chief ministers of nine states telephoned me.

Industrialists also called me. Now a private jet has been sent for us", Jacob said and called for a change in the approach of the Kerala government towards industries.

However, there was no immediate reaction from the state government to Jacob’s fresh charges against it. 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 here in January 2020, alleging that it was difficult for the company to run the existing industrial units in the state.

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

Kerala Industries Minister P Rajeev had said that neither the state government nor any of its departments on their own had initiated any enquiry into or inspection of Kitex Garments Ltd. He had said all inspections were a result of various complaints to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Kerala High Court and other authorities against the company.

(With PTI inputs)

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first published:July 09, 2021, 20:31 IST