In the midst of high-level meetings and interactions in connection with the “Invest Karnataka 2016” summit, the ever-smiling K. Ratna Prabha, additional chief secretary, Commerce and Industries Department, who is directly in charge for “Invest Karnataka” under the Minister for Large, Medium and Tourism Minister R.V. Deshpande, was gracious enough to speak to The Sunday Guardian.
“ Bengaluru itself is the major attaraction for any investor to come to Karnataka. Bengaluru is known all over the world and people want to come here. Our focus is to get investments in the sectors of manufacturing, aerospace, defence, textiles, ago-based products, IT, BT and, of course, electronics. Electronics is one area where we would like to focus on.
In parallel, we would like to generate a lot of employment. And the new Industrial Policy of Karnataka speaks about moving beyond Bengaluru city. So we are creating a lot of clusters all over the state and the further you move away from Bengaluru, the more are the incentives. So the best incentives are in the Hyderabad-Karnataka area which is the most backward area of the state. We have motivated Coca Cola to go out there and Shahi Exports is putting up a 100 acres of textile park. For sure, this will be a shot in the arm for North Karnataka,” she said.
“Hubli, Dharwad, Belgaum are towards Maharashtra-Mumbai – the Bengaluru-Mumbai corridor — and we want to develop the textile sector. We also want to develop the automobile and manufacturing sectors here. Coming down towards Chamarajanagar, which borders Tamil Nadu, a textile and granite and agro-based park spread across 1,500 acres is ready. So, we are expecting investments from Tiripur and Coimbatore. We have developed Mysore into a beautiful industrial area and we would be encouraging agro-food processing and sea products in Mangalore,” she said.
“In Kolar, we have Rs 1,000 crore investments from GSK. Also, we have attracted investments from Honda and Mahindra. TATA Defence and Aerospace are coming up near the defence hub near the Bengaluru airport. A big Japanese machine tools park is in the Chennai- Bengaluru corridor which will contribute to more jobs and create ancilliary industries in the region,” Ratna Prabha said.
“Around 44% of the IT exports in the world are from Bengaluru,” she said. “As a result, the expectations are always very high. We know that congestion is a major issue for Bengaluru as the growth has been at a very fast pace, but the government is trying its best and once the Metro Phase 2 gets completed, there will some relief from the congestion problem. These are the issues when a city is most sought-after. Hence, when the industries are in the rural areas, they will train rural people and want to focus on the upliftment of the rural population,” she said.