Karnataka eyes over Rs.2.5 lakh cr from global investors meet
The government hopes to mobilise investments in 116 investible projects identified already Source: PTI
Betting big on the upcoming global investors meet, the Karnataka government is looking to attract twice the Rs.1.30 lakh crore investment it has wooed in the last two years. Ahead of the three-day mega event, Invest Karnataka 2016, beginning in Bengaluru on February 3, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told reporters that with a thriving eco-system for investment the state’s expectations were “realistic”. Several mega investment projects would be announced at the meet. Besides, the government hopes to mobilise investments in 116 investible projects identified already, he said. He added that the state government has cleared proposals worth Rs.1.30 lakh crore in the last two years after he took over as the Chief Minister and they were in different stages of implementation. The government is expecting to attract double the investment received so far, he said. The CM further said that the state would reach the targets set in the new 2014-19 industrial policy, one year ahead of the timeframe. The new policy envisages 12% industrial growth, Rs.5 lakh crore investment and generation of 15 lakh jobs. On the common refrain by the corporate sector regarding non-availability of land, he said the state cabinet had recently decided to hand over 13,000 acres to Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board. “Land is not a problem. Karnataka has already created a land bank of 26,268 acres,” noted Rathna Prabha, Additional Chief Secretary (Industries and Commerce). Over 100 top global and Indian leaders, including marquee investors, would take part in the meet, besides CEOs of domestic and global corporations, he pointed out. Among the attendees would be Ratan Tata, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Anil D Ambani, Gautam Adani, Uday Kotak, N R Narayana Murthy, Sajjan Jindal and Baba Kalyani, officials said. Fourteen sectors, including defence and textiles, have been identified for the meet, for which seven partner nations - France, Germany, UK, Italy, Sweden, Japan and South Korea - are arriving with huge delegations, Minister for Large and Medium Industries R V Deshpande said. Both Siddaramaiah and Deshpande described as “tremendous” the response to the event, preceded by roadshows held within the country as well as overseas. “We are confident that it will be hugely successful,” Siddaramaiah said. On infrastructure bottlenecks, particularly in Bengaluru, a main source of concern for the investors, he said the government was trying to overcome them. He said at a meeting recently, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari had responded “positively” to a state proposal regarding funding the 70-km long peripheral road project for Bengaluru. The project, which envisaged upgrading the roads into national highways and elevated corridors to connect them, required Rs 8,000 crore for land acquisition and Rs.3,000 crore for laying roads, he observed. To a query on frequent complaints by the state government about lack of cooperation from the Centre, Siddaramaiah said, “We expect cooperation from the Centre. They will have to cooperate. Ours is a federal structure.” Meanwhile, responding to a question on stiff competition from other states, Deshpande said that Karnataka with its inherent strengths and advantages continued to draw investment despite states like Andhra Pradesh and Telangana vying with it. “Incentives and concessions are not the only answers for investment,” he said, emphasising that Karnataka has historically been a progressive state with a vibrant and productive industrial ecosystem. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley would inaugurate the event, which will also see the presence of several union ministers including Nirmala Sitharaman, Suresh Prabhu and Nitin Gadkari.
February 01, 2016 | 6:26pm IST.