HAL airport to be made maintenance, repair and overhauling hub

Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers Ananth Kumar on Saturday announced a slew of industrial development projects, such as setting up national pharmaceutical education institutes, a chemical and petro-chemical industrial hub in Bangalore, transforming the HAL airport into a maintenance, repair and overhauling (MRO) hub and opening the Karwar seabird and Bidar airport to civilian and cargo services.

The Minister also announced that a tripartite conference would be held. It would involve the Union Ministers in charge of Industry, Steel, Power, Environment and Forests, and Coal; Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and his Cabinet colleagues; the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) and its associate organisations for export promotion.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley would inaugurate the event.

Mr. Kumar wanted the State government to organise the conclave to facilitate investment and export promotion in Karnataka.

The Minister, who was re-elected to the Lok Sabha for the sixth time, presented the FKCCI Export Excellence Award to several industrialists and entrepreneurs here.

Investment region

Recalling Mr. Siddaramaiah’s request to set up a special economic zone during his visit to Delhi, he said his Ministry would set up an investment region.

He promised to take up the demand to set up an Indian Institute of Technology in the city with Minister for Human Resource Development Smriti Irani.

On the MRO hub, he said that with so many industries such as HAL, NAL, DRDO and ADA, it would be developed on the lines of the system in Singapore where over 300 aircraft could be repaired. At present, the aircraft were taken to Singapore or the U.S., paying USD 50 for an hour of repair.

Joint venture planned

Referring to Afghanistan Ambassador to India Shaida Mohammad Abdali’s speech that his country had natural resources worth 20 trillion dollars to 30 trillion dollars, the Minister said that India would enter into a joint venture with that country on a natural-gas-related project.

Higher Education and Tourism Minister R.V. Deshpande urged Mr. Kumar to set up an IIT in the city and added that the State government was coming out with new industrial and tourism policies.

FKCCI president R. Shivakumar welcomed the gathering and president elect

S. Sampathraman proposed a vote of thanks. Nahid Rashid, Commercial Consul, Embassy of Bangladesh was present.

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