States

Kerala government cancels controversial deal between PSU and US shipping company

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government has cancelled the controversial settlement with Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) and the US-based EMCC to construct 400 trawlers and 5 motherships. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has additionally ordered an inquiry into the circumstances that led to the signing of the deal.

The choice got here as a face saving measure for the government because it has irked the fishermen neighborhood for the deviation from the state’s coverage to guard their pursuits. It got here at a time when the fishermen neighborhood had deliberate a sequence of agitations towards the deal.

The Chief Minister has additionally directed Additional Chief Secretary TK Jose to probe the allegations raised by Chennithala. Jose is the division head of inland navigation and the Chief Minister mentioned that the deal was signed with out the information of the secretary.

The MD of the state-run KSINC, N Prasanth, would face department-level enquiry. He had signed the deal value Rs 2950 crore to construct the trawlers, mothership and growth of ports on February 2. KSINC maintained that it had signed the deal as a part of the Rs 5000 crore proposal that got here up in the course of the Ascent traders meet held final yr.

Though the Chief Minister and fisheries minister J Mercykutty Amma claimed that they weren’t conscious of the deal, the choice to cancel it got here after the chief of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala got here up with recent proof of the involvement of the government at numerous levels of the deal. Chennithala additionally alleged that the company representatives had met the Chief Minister as nicely.

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