Kitex MD Sabu M Jaco says the company will not invest a single rupee in Kerala.

KOCHI: Sabu M Jacob, CMD of Kitex Group, arrived at Cochin International Airport on Sunday after a three-day visit to Telangana, and stated that he will not invest further in Kerala. He has decided to abandon his Rs 3,500 crore project in Kerala and invest Rs 1,000 crore to set up an apparel park at Kakatiya Mega Textile Park (KMTP) in Warangal, Telangana, after being disturbed by continuous, unexpected inspections at his garment factory in Kizhakkambalam.

“I’m standing here telling you that my conscience forbids me from investing even a rupee (further) in Kerala.” When asked if he is prepared to meet with the state government, Jacob stated that he is willing to meet with anyone, even a clerk.

Jacob mocked the CPM MLA of Kunnathunad and Congress MLAs of Perumbavoor, Muvattupuzha, Thrikkakara, Ernakulam, and Chalakudy MP Benny Behanan for forcing him to look outside Kerala for opportunities. “I am extremely grateful to Kunnathunad MLA for this (investment in Telangana). In addition to him, four other MLAs and an MP from Ernakulam were involved in this. They taught me what it means to be business-friendly, as well as how an industrialist can earn crores of rupees,” he said.

Jacob refused to comment on the criticism levelled by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and opposition leader V D Satheesan. “In my mind, the chief minister commands a certain position, and he has the authority to criticise or scold me. And I will never contradict or comment on his words,” he added.

According to Jacob, the Kitex team was greeted warmly and royally in Telangana. “We went to two locations: a textile park in Warangal and a general one in Hyderabad. We had two rounds of discussions with the industries minister and then another round with top-level bureaucrats before leaving. We intend to invest Rs 1,000 crore in the first phase – that is the word we have given [to the Telangana government]. Following that, we must evaluate the technical and other aspects of the site, which we intend to complete in two weeks. Then we’ll decide whether to make additional investments,” he said.

When asked about the call from Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar, he stated, “During our 15-minute conversation, he gave me an invite for discussions with Karnataka CM for investments there.” I replied that I would call him once I returned to Kerala.”

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