Kitex Garments Limited, the world’s second-largest kid’s apparel maker was invited by the Telangana government to invest the Rs 3,500 crore which the company had earlier planned to invest in Kerala, where most of the business is rooted.
Sabu Jacob, the company’s MD recently visited Telangana and took a two-day aerial survey of the land where Kitex might be setting up their new manufacturing plant. The company initially plans to invest Rs 1000 crore in the first phase.
Jacob is referring to the series of 11 surprise inspections the government officials of Kerala conducted in Kitex premises in the month of June alone. It is suspected that conflicting political affiliations and even a competitive strategy have soured the relations between the two parties.
Back in 2015, Sabu Jacob had launched a political party Twenty20 and competed in the 2021 Kerala’s Legislative Assembly elections. It is also no mere coincidence that the Left Democratic Party was re-elected for a second term only a month before the inspections happened.
Reacting to Sabu Jacob’s comments on the Kerala state government’s treatment of his business, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in a statement that Kitex’s Group’s decision of pulling out of Kerala was a “planned and deliberate” move to demean the state’s image. Jacob reportedly declined to comment on the CM’s statement.
Last month, PT Thomas, Member of Legislative Assembly from Ernakulam district alleged that a textile factory owned by Kitex Group is polluting the Kadambrayar river. The company’s officials have not been happy about this and had sent a legal notice to the MP of Rs 100 crore for his false accusations.
Reacting to this debacle, Sabu Jacob issued a statement that anticipates the current decision of moving to a different state altogether, he said: “We have many enemies, both political and otherwise, and they have been hitting out against us. But no court has directed any order based on these ‘fake reports’”.
It is also interesting to note that Mr. Sabu is the chief coordinator of the political group which governs Kizhakkambalam panchayat, where the factory is located.
According to the latest reports, the decision to withdraw from Kerala and a swift move to Telangana may have benefited Kitex since the company has shown a 46% growth in only a week.
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