Kozhikode, Apr 20 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said Kerala needed more investment paving the way for rapid industrialisation, thereby creating more job avenues in the state.
Addressing an election meeting at Payyoli, near here, he said the main poll plank of the Congress-led UDF in the state was more jobs for unemployed youth, preventing them from going elsewhere for vocations.
The UDF was 'committed' to this goal 'by attracting more' investment in various sectors for all-round development of the state, he said.
Assuring that the Centre would sympathetically consider Kerala's request for Central aid, he said the Congress-led UPA government had cleared many projects like Ezhimala Naval Academy and Kannur airport.
Dr Singh said his government had the credit of setting up separate ministries for overseas Indians and minorities for their interests.
Hailing Keralites employed in West Asia he said they needed special appreciation for contributing precious foreign exchange to the excheuqer by their hardwork.
The newly created ministry under Vayalar Ravi from Kerala had been entrusted with the task of drawing up plans to look after the welfare of the Non-Resident Indians, particularly Malayalees, working abroad, he said.
Dr Singh said his government was committed to improving bilateral relations with Gulf nations to provide conducive working condition in those countries. As part of this, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia had attended Republic Day celebrations at New Delhi as chief guest this year at India's invitation.
He said the UPA government was the first in history to set up a separate ministry for minorities in the country.
The UDF government in Kerala in the last five years had initiated many "progressive schemes" "aimed at more" job avenues, eradicating poverty and ensuring rapid economic development of the state, he said, adding, another milestone was sanction of 80 new engineering colleges for higher education to as many as 12,000 students.
This step enabled students, who earlier went to other states, to continue higher education in Kerala itself, Dr Singh said.
The Prime Minister said Kerala, excelling in education and health sector had the potential to become the country's 'knowledge' capital.
The UDF was able to 'save' the state from financial bankruptcy by adopting 'forward-looking policies' and was committed to providing world class infrastructure paving the way for industrialisation and to create job opportunities.
State Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Union Minister C H Muniappa, Congress Working Committee member M Veerappa Moily and KPCC President Ramesh Chennithala were also present.
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