Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], March 31 (ANI): After a deep-sea fishing deal inked by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's government with US-based EMCC International snowballed into a big political controversy, the state Industries department on Wednesday clarified that the deal was canceled on February 26.
"The KSIDC (Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation) had on February 26 terminated its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with EMCC International signed as part of Ascend Investment meeting. It was cancelled after an inspection found that the EMCC lacked the necessary financial security and credibility and that the company's proposals were contrary to government policy," said a statement issued by Industries Department.
This comes after the deal struck by the Left government became a big campaign issue with national leaders of both Congress and the BJP accused the Vijayan government of betraying fisherfolk ahead of the upcoming state assembly elections.
Home Minister Amit Shah and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had used this to attack the Left government during their campaign rallies in Kerala.
Union Minister for Fisheries Giriraj Singh, while calling the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) government a "commission government", had said that the State government had no right to ink such an agreement.
He told during a media interaction that beyond the 12 nautical miles, sea-related activities are regulated by the Central Government and any such deals inked by the state government would be canceled.
Meanwhile, at the height of the controversy, the Kerala government also has canceled the land allotted to the company to set up a food processing plant at the Pallippuram in Alappuzha.
"Mega Food Park land allotment was also canceled. KSIDC had informed the company in writing on the same day (Feb 26) that the permits had been revoked," clarified the Industries department. (ANI)