Kerala asks IIM-Indore to study ‘One lakh enterprises’ initiative following expose by Manorama News

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan looks at the mobile phone of his Cabinet colleague P. Rajeeve (Industry and Law) at the inauguration of the Samrambhaka Mahasangamam meet of investors and entrepreneurs, in Kochi on January 21, Saturday. Photo: Special arrangement

Thiruvananthapuram: The Left Democratic Front (LDF) Government in Kerala has tasked the Indian Institute of Management (IIM)-Indore to study its ambitious ‘Oru laksham samrabhaka varsham’ (One lakh enterprises this year) programme which has now landed in a controversy.

Manorama News recently telecast an investigative series titled ‘Lakshanamottha Kallam (The Perfect Lie) which exposed the claims of the government regarding the success of the programme.

Announcing the decision of the state's industries department to approach IIM-Indore for the study, Minister P Rajeeve said a team from the institute would examine the social and economic impact of the programme. “Necessary corrections will be made to the programme based on the study report,” the industries minister added.

While making the announcement, Rajeeve criticised the Manorama News series. “The title of the TV programme in itself is misleading and improper. It is news detrimental to the state’s interests,” he said.

“The channel could have highlighted some one hundred achievements of Kerala and mentioned a couple of drawbacks if any,” said the minister.

“Instead, the way the series was presented is similar to declaring a war on the state,” Rajeeve alleged.

The LDF government launched the ‘One lakh enterprises this year’ programme in April 2022. It aimed to incubate one lakh enterprises in Kerala during the financial year 2022-23 in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector, along with creating over two lakh jobs and attracting investments worth Rs 7,000 crore.

Late in 2022, the state government declared that its target of one lakh new entrepreneurs had already been achieved. Subsequently, Kerala received recognition from the BJP-led government at the Centre for best practices in the MSME sector.

At the same time, the channel’s investigation revealed that the state government had fudged the figures related to the setting up of enterprises in every district.

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