Pinarayi-led delegation to visit Europe next month – The New Indian Express

The CM-led delegation will visit Finland and Norway and the UK from October 2 to 12, sources said.
Published: 14th September 2022 06:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th September 2022 06:07 AM   |  A+A-
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (Photo | EPS)
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and some of his cabinet colleagues are set to undertake a 11-day trip to Europe next month, reportedly to understand the latest global trends in the education sector and attract investment to the state.

The CM-led delegation will visit Finland and Norway and the UK from October 2 to 12, sources said. Ministers V Sivankutty, P Rajeeve, V Abdurahiman and Veena George will accompany the CM in various legs of the tour. Prior to the CM’s visit, Tourism Minister P A Mohamed Riyas will set out to France to attend a tourism-related event on September 19. Cooperation Minister V N Vasavan also has a trip scheduled to Bahrain next month, sources said.
Pinarayi will reach Finland on October 2 accompanied by General Education Minister V Sivankutty and Planning Board vice-chairperson V K Ramachandran. Chief Secretary V P Joy and secretaries of the departments of Norka and general education will also be part of the delegation. On arrival in Finland, the delegation will interact with Non-Resident Keralites (NRKs) in Helsinki and also with the European country’s education minister. Visits to pre-schools, schools and interaction with representatives of a few universities have also been planned as part of the trip, said a source.
The delegation will arrive in Norwegian capital Oslo on October 4 where Rajeeve and Abdurahiman will join. Discussions with Norwegian government officials and visits to industrial parks and marine institutes are part of the itinerary. The CM and his cabinet colleagues will reach London on October 7 where the delegation will be joined by Health Minister Veena George. Interaction with NRK community and discussion with UK ministers and a visit to the British parliament have also been included in the itinerary. The CM-led delegation will return to the state on October 12 via Dubai. The visit sparked criticism that it was being undertaken when the state’s finances are strained.
K N Balagopal defends trips of ministers
However, Finance Minister K N Balagopal defended the foreign trips.
“Does it mean that none should visit Europe? Does undertaking foreign trips for the purpose of study or attending seminars constitute a major share of our expense? I am of the view that the trip is necessary,” he said.
The CPM too has defended the official visits. “There is no ban on foreign trips. If necessary, trips abroad and within the country need to be undertaken. Will the financial crisis end if the trip is put off,” asked CPM state secretary M V Govindan.
Delegation to visit Finland and Norway and the UK from October 2 to 12
Ministers V Sivankutty,P Rajeeve, V Abdurahiman and Veena George to accompany the CM in various legs of the tour
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