The Kerala government talks with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) for setting up a Sputnik V vaccine manufacturing plant in the state, Industries Minister P Rajeev said on Thursday.
Talks between Russia and the Kerala government regarding the manufacturing unit began when the state faced a severe shortage of Covid-19 vaccines. “The Chief Secretary and other officials are in consultation with Russian officials, Honourable Counsul General and direct investment board. The primary discussion is going on. I think we will enter into a Letter of intent (LOI) within a few days."
The minister said Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had ordered officials to give proposals to companies ready to manufacture vaccines from the state. “Earlier, we had entrusted KSDP(Kerala State Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd). An expert committee constituted by the state government decided on the land in Life Science Park in Thonnakkal is suitable to set up the vaccine manufacturing unit.“
“The move would be beneficial for the people of Kerala," the minister said while declining to comment further, citing ongoing negotiations.
Meanwhile, Rajeev also said several new investors have approached the state for business opportunities as Kerala believes in responsible investment and responsible industry. “The focus is on bringing in IT, tourism, BT, agro-based industries, pharmaceuticals and medical devices to Kerala," he said.
“Tata ELXSI has entered MoU with KINFR, they are ready to invest Rs 70 crores. On July 14, we got approval from Tata consultancy Services with a Rs 650 crores investment at the first stage and Rs 700 crores in the second phase. They have promised to create more than 20,000 employment opportunities within five to seven years.” he added.