Siddaramaiah urged to appoint a Minister exclusively for Bangalore

The Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC) has submitted to the government an agenda for the State economy for the next five years. The 12-point action plan, which was presented to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday, is based on what appears plausible and within limits set by the Congress party’s own election manifesto, said M. Lakshminarayan, president, BCIC.

Referring to the big ticket projects, the BCIC has urged the Congress government to focus on the Mumbai-Bangalore-Chennai industrial corridor, instead of developing the eight-lane road from Bidar to Chamarajanagar, which the Congress promised in its manifesto, Mr. Lakshminarayan said.

“Given the resource constraint, the Mumbai corridor may offer greater benefits to the State,” he said. “Instead of spreading resources thin over many projects, it may be better for the government to prioritise and focus on a few important ones,” he argued.

Mr. Lakshminarayan admitted that the two global investors’ meet held during the tenure of the previous government had not yielded much in terms of actual investment. Referring to the fact that Bangalore contributes nearly 60 per cent to the State’s income, he urged Mr. Siddaramaiah to appoint a Minister exclusively to be in charge of the city. He said this would help in improvement of roads, water supply and other critical infrastructure in the city.

Mr. Lakshminarayan suggested that incentives for investment in industries ought to be calibrated in accordance with the jobs they would generate, instead of depending on the quantum of investments in the industrial projects.

“The State needs to take a re-look at its industrial policy,” he said. “Corruption is also of deep concern to industry,’ he observed.

Referring to the industrial slowdown, Mr. Lakshminarayan said the previous government’s preoccupation with staying in power also contributed to sluggish economic growth.”

He also suggested the hosting of a Karnataka Economic Forum, which would serve as a platform for wider deliberations on policies associated not only with industry but with the wider economy of the State. This would facilitate more inclusive growth.

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