August 30th, 2011
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VS, Pinarayi sought US FDI: Wikileaks

Thiruvananthapuram: Shocking revelations of Wikileaks regarding US private sector investment and FDI has been made public. Wikileaks provides the details of the conversations between former Chief Minister V S Achuthannadan, CPIM state Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, former Finance Minister Thomas Issac, former Education Minister M A Baby and US political staff and officials.

Thomas Issac in his conversation with the media today, confirmed that the conversations and discussions held with the officials were true. The talks were a part of party policy, he added

Wikileaks  has brought out the documents which the American embassy sent to Washington in two parts. The discussion with VS Achuthanandan has been given in one part and the discussion with other CPIM leaders have been given in the other part. The U S officials have described VS Achuthanandan as “the leader of the dogmatic wing of Kerala CPIM.”

As per the revelations of Wikieleaks senior leaders of former Kerala CPIM government pleaded for Foreign Direct Investments and US private sector investments, where as V S Achuthanandan seems to have demanded FDI only in three sectors.

Revealing the details about a closed-door meeting the American political counsellor had with top CPIM leaders and ministers on August11-12,2008  , the American diplomat says, “CPIM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan opened the meeting, which was held in his office underneath framed pictures of Stalin and Lenin, by telling the political counsellor that “we need your assistance” in drawing US investment to the state.

Vijayan, who is a member of the CPIM politburo, said Plachimada Coco-Cola agitation was merely a local environmental agitation driven by NGO’s which took an anti-FDI stand. He added that “we have no problems with American companies, no hesitation at all.”  He explained the change in the Kerala CPIM’s position on investment by saying that “the government does not have enough money to adequately develop the state.  We need money from the private sector.”

Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Issac, echoed the sentiments expressed by Vijayan. Issac said, “rapid industrialization is desirable but the government budget is unable to support the required investment. we have to tap into the private sector.” we will use public private partnerships”, he added. As the meeting closed , Thomas Issac pulled Consulate political/Economic officer aside and requested the them to urge US companies to visit him to discuss investing in Kerala.

V S Achthanandan, Governor and Opposition leader’s discussion with US officials were given in another page in Wikileaks on 26 August, 2011.Principal Officer Andrew Simkin travelled to Thiruvananthapuram where he held introductory meetings with senior government officials and other key contacts. During his trip he met with Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPIM), Governor R.S. Gavai, Chief Secretary P.J.Thomas, state Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, the Director General of Police, and members from the opposition Congress Party.

During their August 29-30, 2008 meeting, Chief Minister Achuthanandan mentioned the CPM’s interest in attracting U.S.investment to Kerala.  The Chief Minister was particularly adamant about stressing that the CPM was specifically focusing on promoting the growth of three sectors:  information technology, biotechnology and tourism.

He had invited a large crowd of reporters and photographers to his office at the opening of the meeting, and invited them back after the conversation.  In that closing press opportunity he stressed to the media that the CPM wanted to promote foreign investment in the three sectors he identified.

US stand regarding Achuthanandan has also been made clear in the document. According to the document,  Since coming to office in 2006 the Chief Minister has fought a losing battle against the Kerala CPM’s more investment-friendly faction, which is led by the CPM State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan. In early August Vijayan took the unprecedented step of openly seeking our assistance in drawing U.S. investment to Kerala.  To have Achuthanandan, who has long opposed such a move,affirm this policy shift is a clear sign that Kerala is moving in anew direction.










One Response to “ VS, Pinarayi sought US FDI: Wikileaks ”

  1. Suhel Banerjee

    The report fails to mention this part of the cable
    ‘The CPM leaders, however, made clear that their new
    interest in FDI has its limits. Vijayan and Isaac said that the
    government would welcome investment in the service sector —
    especially information technology, biotechnology, and tourism — but
    the state’s commitment to protecting its environment makes it less
    amenable to manufacturing. Isaac said that Kerala will establish
    more Special Economic Zones (SEZs), but the state will insist on
    unionization in the SEZs. He added that the state will “act to
    protect its traditional farmers.” Education Minister Baby said that
    although Kerala welcomes exchanges with U.S. universities the CPM
    remains “ideologically opposed” to FDI in higher education.’


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