Monday, November 29, 1999

Keep politics and development separate: Antony

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Palakkad, May 16 (PTI) Defence Minister A K Antony today said it was important to keep developmental agenda separate from political differences. "The development agenda should not be changed in accordance with change of governments," Antony told reporters on the sidelines of a function here. He said it was important for all parties to ensure that political differences do not come in the way of economic and industrial development, especially in a state like Kerala. Cooperation between the UPA at the Centre and LDF government in Kerala, despite differences, had resulted in greater flow of central investment to the state. "If the same level of cooperation is maintained, the state will benefit more," Antony said after presiding over the inauguration of manufacturing complex of Defence Public Sector Undetaking BEML. Earlier, Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan inaugurated the first phase of the unit which is the fourth manufacturing complex and eighth manufacturing plant of BEML. Achuthanandan said the government would expedite steps for acquisition of 600 acres of land for the second phase of the complex. The new complex will cater to the needs of defence, mining and construction, rail and metro rail. BEML CMD V R S Natarajan said the company commanded 70 per cent of the domestic market in earth moving equipment and had overseas market in 55 countries, with international offices in Brazil, Indonesia, Malysia and China. The company had set a corporate goal of Rs 5,000 crore turnover by 2014, he said. State Industries Minister Elamaram Kareem and Opposition Leader in the state assembly, Oommen Chandy were also present on the occasion.

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