Hyderabad: Kitex Garments Limited that was recently embroiled in a controversy after it withdrew plans to invest Rs. 3,500 crore in Kerala has now arrived in Telangana. The state government has extended an invitation to the company to set up an apparels unit in the state.

Kitex officials will arrive in Hyderabad on 9 July to discuss the Rs. 3,500 crore project that it withdrew in Kerala.

A brief history of Kitex Garments

Kitex Garments is the flagship company of the Rs. 1,200 crore Anna-Kitex Group founded by M.C Jacob at Kizhakkambalam in Kochi in 1968. The Kitex Group employs 15,000 people and is currently the world's second-largest producer of children's apparel. It is now in the process of setting up operations in the US.

Kitex Garments Limited is the largest employer in the private sector in Kerala. It is located near Kochi and was established in 1992. It employs 11,000 workers, a majority of whom are from other states.

The chairman of Kitex Garments Ltd, Sabu Jacob, floated Twenty20 in 2013 as a non-profit entity for the betterment of Kizhakkambalam panchayath where the company headquarters is situated. Opposition from political parties compelled Twenty20 to contest the local body elections in 2015. It won 17 of the 19 seats in the Kizhakkambalam panchayat and retained power in the 2020 local body elections in these panchayats.

Controversy in Kerala

At the 'Ascend Kerala' global investor meeting organized by the Kerala government in Kochi in January 2020, Kitex Garments proposed to invest Rs. 3,500 crore to establish an apparel park and three industrial parks in Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, and Palakkad. The proposed project was expected to generate 35,000 jobs.

But the managing director and chairman of Kitex Group, Sabu M. Jacob, had alleged that frequent inspections and raids by Kerala government officials had disrupted the company's functioning. After that, he withdrew plans to invest Rs. 3,500 crore to build apparel and industrial parks in Kerala.

Meanwhile, Kerala industries minister P. Rajeev said all inquiries into Kitex Garments were carried out only in response to complaints filed against the company.

Kitex takes the Telangana route

The Telangana government has extended an invitation to Kitex Garments to set up an apparels unit in the state. A communication from the Kitex Group said Telangana industries minister K.T Rama Rao sent an invitation to the company on Tuesday evening promising attractive incentives under the Telangana Textiles and Apparels Policy.

Other states, like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, has also made attractive offers to Kitex. The company's chairman has claimed that nine states have contacted him asking him to invest in their projects and put forward attractive offers.

The first round of talks between the Telangana government and Kitex has ended. A six-member team headed by Kitex MD Sabu Jacob will land in Hyderabad on Friday following an invitation from the Telangana government. KTR will meet the representatives of Kitex Group over lunch on Friday. Meanwhile, it is being speculated that Telangana is likely to offer Kakatiya Mega Textile Park in Warangal to the Kitex Group.

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