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Last Updated: May 17, 2007 - 8:46:52 AM
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Kerala to focus on agriculture, tourism, IT, NRKs
Mar 2, 2007 - 2:25:44 PM
However, the opposition dismissed the address as a dull and dreary one, which had addressed no real issues.

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[RxPG] Thiruvananthapuram, March 2 - Reading out V.S.Achuthanandan government's policies for the year, Kerala Governor R. L. Bhatia said the state would focus on sectors like agriculture, tourism and information technology - and encourage investments by non-resident Keralites - in the state.

'The year 2007-08 will be declared as 'Harithavarsham', the year of agriculture and farmers,' said Bhatia in his address to the Kerala Assembly, Friday.

'A programme to produce 15 lakh - tonnes of vegetables will be launched to make the state self-sufficient. Organic farming will be encouraged and the technical know-how for this will be transferred. Some 100 bio-villages will be started, with emphasis on organic farming,' added Bhatia.

Bhatia also said the government would begin activities to take IT to greater heights: 'A Technocity will be developed on the outskirts of Thiruvananthapuram. This will be a self-contained IT township. IT parks will be established in all district headquarters and in select locations. The government will create two lakh new jobs in the next five years in this sector,' said Bhatia.

He also said the government would begin steps to promote investment opportunities for NRK's through proper planning.

'Wayanad district will be made a major centre of milk production and milk products by establishing a joint venture project with NRI participation,' said Bhatia.

The government has also decided to promote responsible tourism in a big way. 'A year-long road map will be prepared to see that all stakeholders are brought into the framework of responsibility and the benefits of tourism shared by the local community,' said Bhatia.

However, the opposition dismissed the address as a dull and dreary one, which had addressed no real issues.

'The governor's address ends with him saying that the first Kerala government - of E.M.S. Namboothiripad would be the model for them. If that is to happen, it will do the state no good,' said leader of opposition Oommen Chandy to reporters here.

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