One of the major accusations that Nissan has raised against the Government is that it has gone back on its promise regarding the setting up of a speedy single-window clearance.

Nissan unhappy with Kerala government Report says Japanese co wrote to govtJune 29, 2018 - After Nissan Motor Co signed MoU with Kerala Govt. Courtesy- (www.nissan.in)
news Infrastructure Sunday, July 21, 2019 - 13:49

It’s been a year since Kerala’s Left Democratic Front (LDF) government signed a deal with Nissan Motor Corporation Limited to set up their first global research hub in the state capital of Thiruvananthapuram. But an exclusive by the Times of India’s (TOI) KP Saikiran on Sunday said that the Japanese multinational company is not pleased with the state government and has pointed out that the latter failed to keep its promises to the company.

As per the TOI report, Nissan Motor Co’s chief digital officer Swaminathan TV had written a four-page letter to Chief Secretary Tom Jose and to the secretaries of various departments, stating the concerns of the company in setting up the research hub in Thiruvananthapuram. The letter which was accessed by TOI was quoted to have said that, “Nissan has had to approach various departments in the government towards fulfillment of conditions for our success in Trivandrum, which has been time and effort consuming, and other than running from department to department, it does not necessarily solve our needs.”

One of the major accusations that Nissan has raised against the Government is that it has gone back on its promise regarding the setting up of a speedy single-window clearance for the project and in providing the necessary social and physical infrastructure near to the research hub. The company which was initially prepared to set up the hub in Technopark, one of the largest IT parks in the state, finally ended up setting its space in the Infosys campus. 

The paper also reported that the government did not waive off stamp duty and registration fee citing that these exemptions cannot be granted to sub-leases, though this was apparently one of the promises.

The other issues raised by the company in their letter include lack of air connectivity from the state capital to other major cities in India such as Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru. This is expected to impact the ease of travelling of clients between their various offices in different cities. 

The LDF government in Kerala has been in a tussle recently with the Centre as the tender for privatisation of the airport had been won by the Adani Group, something that Kerala has objected to. The lack of privatisation of the airport has been alleged to be the reason behind several domestic and international flights cancelling their services from the city as well as an increase in ticket fares even as compared to other airports within the state. 

With the airlines company SilkAir also having dropped its services from Thiruvananthapuram airport, the city has lost its lone form of connectivity to Tokya, which is the headquarters of Nissan. 

Another major concern raised by the Japanese company was lack of talent pool from the engineering colleges in Kerala. It has requested the government to take the necessary measures to improve the curriculum of colleges to match the needs and skills needed for Nissan.

The choice of setting up the research hub was between Thiruvananthapuram and Chennai and Nissan decided to go with the former based on the promises kept by the state government before signing the Memorandum of Understanding on June 29, 2018. In its letter, the company states that, “While we appreciate the government in inviting us to set up our hub in Trivandrum, unfortunately, the conditions mostly remain unfulfilled.” 

The government has not reacted yet to the story.

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