Agitators not rank-holders: Minister

Reiterating that the government’s move to regularise contract workers is a humanitarian act, Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan has alleged that none of the job aspirants who have been agitating in the State capital for nearly three weeks figured in the Kerala Public Service Commission (PSC) rank lists.

Mr. Jayarajan, during an interaction with the media here on Thursday, later modified his claim to say “barring a few, a majority of the agitators were United Democratic Front (UDF) workers, some of whom were panchayat members.”

“Some of the protesters have also admitted that they were not rank holders as had been initially claimed. Besides, none of the posts to which workers were regularised came under the purview of the PSC. The public will see through such ploys,” he said.

The Minister said the Industries Department too had decided to adopt the policy in the sector. According to him, the beneficiaries of the government decision were mostly workers who were employed by the previous UDF government. Some of the workers had been serving in various institutions for over 15 years.

He blamed the previous UDF government for making appointments on contractual basis without proper guidelines which, he claimed, had now led to the current scenario. On the other hand, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government had removed the recruitment freeze that had existed when it came to power and ensured all vacancies were reported to the PSC.

Investor-friendly State

The Industries Minister claimed that the State had transformed itself into an investor-friendly one during the last five years. He claimed Kerala topped the Niti Aayog’s Innovation Index that reflected upon the conducive environment for business ventures.

K. Elangovan, Principal Secretary, Industries Department, said investments to the tune of ₹15,000 crore were expected within the two years. While land has been identified for 100 of the 148 finalised projects, funding has been finalised for 62 projects. The detailed project reports were also ready for 82 projects.

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