Investment proposals in more than 400 projects, valued at more than Rs. 5 lakh crore, were announced at the end of the first day of the Global Investors Meet on Thursday. Leaders of several business conglomerates appreciated the industrial climate and reiterated their commitment to investment in the State.

Significantly, the steel and conventional power sectors, which enjoyed overwhelming domination at the last edition of the event organised by the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, only accounted for a small fraction of the investments. On the eve of the event, Minister of Large and Medium-Scale Industries Murugesh R. Nirani said the government expects investment proposals worth at least Rs. 6 lakh crore at GIM 2012.

Addressing the event, which was attended by delegates from across the world, N.R. Narayana Murthy, Chairman Emeritus, Infosys Ltd., urged industry and governments to “create quality employment”. “We need to create sustainable jobs for the 40 million unemployed youth in the country,” he said. “There is a need to diversify beyond Information Technology,” he said.

Factors stressed

He urged for a transparent policy regime, the need for creation of basic infrastructure using Public Private Partnership mode, the upgradation of educational infrastructure and the expansion of existing investments in the State.

Although Japan, Mexico and the State of Bavaria in Germany were listed as partner states to the event, barring the investment of Rs. 500 crore proposed by Toyota's joint venture, no other companies from these countries featured among the list of 25 Letters of Intent (LoI) for investments in projects that were announced at the inaugural session.

Describing the 2010 GIM as a “great success”, Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda said the government had been in “preparatory mode” for the current GIM for 20 months. He said sector-specific policies for aerospace, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, housing and solar power were on the anvil. He said projects approved by the State High Level Clearance Committee would be cleared within 24 hours. 

Kumaramangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group, said Karnataka was “ahead of its peers because of its progressive policies”. He said his Group, which has already made a cumulative investment of Rs. 6,000 crore in the State has plans to invest Rs. 7,000 crore. The AB Group signed two LoIs at the event for a caustic soda plant and a cement plant, involving a total investment of over Rs. 6,500 crore.

Big-ticket proposals

Among the big-ticket proposals were those by the GVK Group — for a total investment of Rs. 29,000 crore in power projects. The Tata Group announced investments amounting to Rs. 26,000 crore across in nine sectors.

The Suzlon Group signed an Expression of Intereset (EoI) for Rs. 20,000 crore of investment in solar and wind power projects. Among large real estate projects were those by the Embassy Group (Rs. 14,370 crore); Ascendas' (Singapore) Rs. 10,400 crore in an integrated IT park adjacent to the ITPL in Bangalore; Rajesh Exports' investment of Rs. 11,986 crore in an integrated township; and the Tata Group's investment of Rs. 4,326 crore in an IT SEZ. The planned expansion of MRPL's facility in Mangalore, entailing an investment of Rs. 8,500 crore, was also included in the list of EoIs announced.

HAL proposal

An EoI with JSW Steel, for investments of Rs. 8,500 crore in its steel manufacturing facility, was also announced. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. also submitted a proposal for investment of Rs. 600 crore at a facility near the HAL airport.