The second Global Investors Meet (GIM) is expected to attract investments of Rs. 6 lakh crore, including Rs. 1.5 lakh crore by foreign investors from 30 countries, said Minister for Large- and Medium-scale Industries Murugesh R. Nirani on Monday.

“The GIM is going to be a grand success, in spite of fears of a global recession, talk of political instability in the State and despite the slide of the rupee,” Mr. Nirani said during an interaction with the media. Among the mega projects on the anvil is an aerospace hub, spread over 1,000 acres, which would draw investments to the tune of Rs. 10,000 crore in the first phase.

Mr. Nirani said leading industrialists such as G.V.K. Reddy of the GVK Group; Kumaramangalam Birla, chairman of the A.V. Birla Group; B. Muthuraman, vice-chairman of Tata Steel; N.R. Narayana Murthy, founder, Infosys Ltd., and several other prominent industrialists are likely to attend the GIM on June 7 and June 8. The GIM Expo is to be inaugurated on June 6. The Minister said the investments at GIM 2012 are likely to result in 10 lakh jobs.

Describing the GIM of 2010 as a “resounding success”, Mr. Nirani claimed that of the 389 projects for which MoUs were signed, 62 had already been implemented and 225 “are in various stages of implementation”. He said the presence of public sector banks at GIM 2012 would provide comfort to investors. These institutions would arrange for term and working capital loans, apart from taking equity participation in the projects. Mr. Nirani promised the abolition of trade licences for industrial units, a demand raised by associations of smaller industries in the State. “We will initiate steps within a week,” he said.

The Minister also said the subsidy payments to small units, which had been pending since 2007, would be settled before the end of the year.

The nature of “special incentives” for mega projects would be decided after “one-on-one discussions” with prospective investors, Mr. Nirani said. Asked whether discretionary decision-making would not result in greater scope for corruption, M.N. Vidyashankar, Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce, said this was the practice not only all over the world but also by most other Indian States.

Asked about the terms of the agreement with the State's “Knowledge Partner,” Ernst and Young, which is to be paid an “incentive fee” for bringing investments into Karnataka, Mr. Vidyashankar said, “We will make all the details available on the last day of GIM.”

T.V. Mohandas Pai, chairman, Manipal Global Education, said GIM was likely to result in the transformation of the State, by drawing surplus labour from the less productive agricultural sector to industries and services. He urged Mr. Nirani to encourage projects that result in greater employment absorption.

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