Thiruvananthapuram (Agencies): Criticizing the LDF Government for not fully utilising the centrally-sponsored schemes, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday asked Kerala to speed up its economic reforms to tap private investment for faster growth. 

"I would like to say (that) Kerala should accelerate the pace of economic reforms in creating an enabling environment for private investment to create new employment opportunities
within the state. The state needs much more to be done in this regard," he said.

Inaugurating the Kerala Development Congress, organized by the Congress-sponsored Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Development Studies, Singh said the state should take a close look at the labour scenario to attract investors.

“The labour relations in Kerala required a close look to ensure that investors were not discouraged from coming to the state,” PM said, stating that it was of utmost importance to create an investment-friendly atmosphere.

He further said, “The area of labour relations, in factories and enterprises all across Kerala, is something we need to take a close look at. The investors should not feel discouraged
because of the state of labour environment", he said.

Lauding the state's achievements in education and health, Singh said Kerala should also address challenges like creating old age security.

Maintaining that the UPA Government had sanctioned several major projects for Kerala in the last six years, Singh said the state government, however, had not derived the full
benefit out of centrally-sponsored schemes.

"Kerala has not derived as much benefit from the centrally-sponsored schemes as it could have and it should have", he said.

The state should have shown more interest in the implementation of schemes like the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Development Mission, added Singh.

While emphasising the importance of infrastructure development, he said there was a need to improve the quality of roads and strengthening the power sector for rapid industrialisation.

"There is lot to be done to improve Kerala's physical infrastructure. The density of roads in Kerala is much higher than the national average. But their quality leaves much to be desired," Singh said.
Praising Kerala's natural beauty as something that has attracted poets, writers and travellers over centuries, he said the Centre would support all its efforts to further
expand tourism.