‘Not abandoning Kerala, but forced to step down,’ Kitex Chairman Sabu Jacob says ahead of a visit to Telangana.

Kochi: “Kitex is not abandoning the state of Kerala; it is being forced to quit,” Sabu M Jacob, Chairman of the Kerala-based Kitex group, said on Friday.

“We never expected to be in a situation where we had to leave Kerala. However, in this hostile environment, it is difficult to maintain business in the state. My father envisioned hiring thousands of people in Kerala. We are being forced to make this difficult choice “He continued.

He was leaving Cochin International Airport on a special plane sent by the Telangana government to discuss his new investment plans with them.

Jacob, who announced last week the withdrawal of his group’s Rs 3,500 investment project in Kerala due to harassment by state government officials, said he was invited by the Telangana government after his group met with them “at various levels,” including state Industries Minister K T Rama Rao and senior government officials.

When asked about his investment plans, Jacob stated, “this is similar to a marriage proposal, and we cannot make a decision tomorrow.”

“But we’ll go see because there are other offers from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh,” he said.

In response to a question about whether he intended to invest the Rs 3,500 crore that had been withdrawn from Kerala, Jacob stated, “It’s a different strategy.

That I am unable to reveal right now “..

Kitex Garments Ltd announced its decision to withdraw from the project signed during the state government’s “Ascend Global Investors Meet” here in January 2020, citing difficulties in running the company’s existing industrial units in the state.

During the previous month, the industrialist claimed, Kitex’s various units were raided ten times by officials from various departments.

He claimed that officials numbering 40-50 entered the factory units, conducted searches, prevented workers, including female employees, from doing their jobs, grilled them, and harassed them.

Continuing his criticism, Jacob stated that the state’s business-unfriendly environment still exists.

In an attack on the government, he claimed that Kerala Industries Minister P Rajeev sought to justify the actions of officials who had conducted frequent inspections at his industry units rather than addressing the issues he had raised.

Meanwhile, some Congress MLAs from Ernakulam district have written to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, requesting action against Kitex for allegedly failing to address pollution at its Kizhakkambalam unit.

The government stated that the officials’ action against Kitex was also based on a complaint from opposition MLAs.

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