The Kerala government would take up this offer providing all possible infrastructure support, Mr Antony said. This would cater to the state's 7-million unit power deficit situation. The state government has not given up hope on the Rs 1000-crore Petronet project. Efforts to facilitate LNG at fixed price on a 20-25 year contract is still on, he said. He was speaking to reporters after returning from the chief ministers' meeting in New Delhi.
Global tenders for Vallarpadam Shipping terminal will be floated by March, Mr Antony said.
The Chief Minister, during his New Delhi visit, had met Union defence minister George Fernandes to sort out hitches like height of cranes and had then liasoned with the shipping minister Goyal.
Of the four requests to the Union finance minister in New Delhi, namely loan rescheduling/ interest waiver, special grant for distressed states, making the loan-grant ratio to fifty-fifty and permission for raising Rs 500-crore loan from the market, the Chief Minister has pinned all hopes on two items.
"Although no firm committment was made, I understand that the Rs 500 crore loan would be allowed. Secondly, high interest debts may be allowed to retire to 7-10 interest stream," Mr Antony speculated.
Regarding transition to VAT (value added tax) regime by March, Kerala was willing to toe the Centre's line, provided the shortfall in revenues due to the fall in Central sales tax will be met. According to an earlier estimate by state government, VAT was likely to give Rs 350-crore losses to state exchequer.