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Kerala to involve small investors in infrastructure development


Thiruvananthapuram : Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac Sunday said the state will adopt a new business model where savings of small investors as well as cash-rich non-resident Keralites (NRK) could be used to build infrastructure.

This would be different from the already tested build-operate-transfer (BRT) model, he told reporters here.

“What we are trying to work out is a private-public partnership where investments from small investors could be used to build new bus stands, government buildings and other infrastructure,” Isaac said.

He added that China had successfully implemented a similar model.

“If we are going to do this using funds from the budget, then it would take another 50 years. What we propose to do is to collect money from small investors and NRKs and build buildings. We will compensate them by giving out adequate returns from the budgetary allocations,” Isaac said.

“After 30 years, the government will take over the buildings,” he added.

The minister said a ‘games village’ would be built under the model for the National Games 2010 that would be held here.

“The entire project would cost Rs.1,000 crore (Rs.10 billion) and the centre would chip in just Rs.200 crore (Rs.2 billion) and a similar amount will come from the state government,” Isaac said.

“The balance money we will raise from these small investors and NRKs. After the games are over, like what it was done during the 1982 Asian Games, the village will be open for sale and those who invested the money will get handsome returns,” he added.

Last fiscal, the state received Rs.24,525 crore (Rs.245.25 billion) as remittances from the Kerala diaspora, which is about 20 percent of the state’s net state domestic product and 30 percent more than its annual receipts.