The fact that we have been successful in attracting investments up to 1.21 lakh crores and also create job opportunities for 2.44 lacK shows the ability of my government to keep Karnataka ahead. We laid special emphasis on ease of doing business, streamlining land reforms and with a view to develop the State in a holistic manner and promoting investments in the northern part of Karnataka. We brought out Industrial Policy 2014-19 in October14. We are promoting industries to see beyond  Bengaluru.Manufacturing has been an area of great focus for us. All these are aimed at balanced industrial growth and creation of employmentin rural areas.

Q. What are the new initiatives the government is planning to implement going forward?
We announced Invest Karnataka June 2015. For the last 7 months my team of ministers and officers have been working overtime to put in place all that is required to make the event a grand success.

Phase 1 of metro is complete and work on phase 2 will begin shortly. We have also been working on promoting production clusters in potential areas of the state, such as Yadgir, Mangaluru, Belgavi, Mysore,

Chamarajnagar,Tumkuru and Dharwad. We are working towards energy security for the state and planning to add 22 Giga Watts of all forms of power by 2022.

These initiatives would helps us in taking another step towards achieving our vision – that of “Inclusive and equitable growth” throughout the state.

Q. Can you talk about key ongoing and upcoming mega projects that promise to take the State to the next level of growth?
The State is planning two corridors viz. Chennai-Bengaluru-Chitradurga Investment Corridor (CBCIC) and Bengaluru-Mumbai Economic Corridor (BMEC) which will have an influencing zone of 150 kms on each side of the corridor. There will also be dedicated nodes across these corridors.

A new Greenfield industrial area under the National Investment and Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ) scheme of GoI is proposed at Vasanthanarasapura in Tumakuru District, the first such project in India.

A total of 13,928 acres of land is being acquired and already the first phase of 4,146 acres is developed. A dedicated Machine Tool Park spread across about 500 acres and another dedicated Japanese Park of about 500 acres is planned. This will be the biggest industrial area in the State. Another two NIMZs, one in Kolarand other at Kalburgi are at planning stage.

Earlier this month, the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for HAL’s Helicopter facility at Tumakuru with an investment of about Rs. 5,000 Crore to produce 600 Light Utility Helicopters in the first 15 years; create 4,000 jobs in phase-1 and more than 3,000 jobs in phase-2.

The recent investments include that of M/s Honda Scooters India Limited which has set up its world’s largest 2-wheeler manufacturing factory in Narsapur with a capacity to make 18 million 2 wheelers annually. M/s Asian Paints is putting up worlds largest water based paint plant at Mysuru with a capacity to produce 6 Lakhs Kilo Litres per annumwith an investment of Rs. 2300 Crores.

It is worthwhile to mention that M/s Shell will be shortly opening its R&D centre, only one outside of US. M/s GSK is implementing aRs 1,000 crore manufacturing plant which is first in the last one decade anywhere in the world. M/s Tata Power SED is investing in Defence Production unit at VemgalKolar and the industries which have already invested in Karnataka like TataMarcopolo, Bosch, Toyota and many others are making further investments for capacity expansions.  M/s Toyota Kirloskar Motors has decided to stop importing engines from Thailand, and proposes to make engines for ‘Fortuner’ and ‘Innova’ models in Karnataka.

Q. What steps is government taking to promote “MAKE IN KARNATAKA” pitch?
All these initiatives of the State show that “Make in India”is happening and is happening in Karnataka!

Q. Could you talk about the industrial climate in Karnataka? What are the steps taken to position the State as a top investment-friendly destination?
Many reforms have been put in place across major departments including online filing of combined application and approvals to facilitate ease of doing business, optimum utilization of resources, encourage vertical development in industrial area, protect industrial land, reduce inspections, enable submission of online returns etc. to boost the morale of investors.

The aspect of “Ease of Doing business” is being personally looked into by the Minister of Large & Medium Industries Mr. Deshpande, who has held several consultative meetings with stakeholders of different sector. The aim is to identify how processes can be made simpler, faster and can be made online.

Q. What’s your development and growth vision for Karnataka?
As Chief Minister of the state, it is my dream to empower each and every person to get the opportunity to become what he or she aspires to – be it a doctor or a technical person or an entrepreneur. We are committed to upgrade the skills of our workforce in order to meet the industry requirements. Our Industrial Policy aims for an annual growth rate of 12% and to attract investments of Rs. 5 Lakh Crore, providing employment to 15 Lakh persons in the next 5-year period. Through Invest Karnataka, we hope to reach that target at least one year earlier.

Q. What’s being done to further tap Karnataka’s potential, particularly in the sectors of infrastructure and tourism?
23 projects with more than 1500 km opportunity under KSHIP and KRDCL in the domain of road have been announced.

We are making bold strides in tourism through our New Tourism policy for the period 2015-20 introduced in 2015.Several initiatives like Tourist Mitra, Adoption of tourism destinations, etc have been taken up by the Tourism Department for development of variety of tourism and tourism friendly environment in Karnataka.

Q. You have always laid emphasis on the agriculture sector, and the thrust on promoting interests of farmers?
Karnataka is known for its leadership in IT, BT, Engineering, R&D and many other technological sectors. However, Agriculture is one of the mainstay of the economy with more than 60% of state population employed directly and indirectly by farming and agri-businesses.

The Government is committed towards increasing profitability of Agriculture and Allied activities. It is essential for us to attract the farmers to take up new technology and modern equipment. It is also equally important to add value to our agriculture produce. Food processing sector with high level of value addition helps in the reduction of wastage, improves value addition, promotes crop diversification, ensures better return to the farmers, promotes employment as well as increases earnings.

Q. What are your expectations from Invest Karnataka-2016?
As I mentioned earlier, Invest Karnataka 2016 is a platform to showcase the strengths of the State, investments commitments are a part of the event.

In Invest Karnataka 2016, we are focusing on clearance of projects and in case any project proponents intends to sign an MoU or EoI, we are not averse to signing them.  We are definitely working to ensure that all these investment intentions are grounded at the earliest.

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