We are fed up with parties that do not support trade and industries, though we pay nearly Rs. 1 lakh crore as various taxes, annually. There are about 10 lakh micro, small and medium enterprises and about five lakh small traders in the State that support lives of one crore persons directly and indirectly.
A list comprising 12 demands has been placed before the parties for the development of the sector. The demands put forward by the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry include land reforms for easy transfer of land for industrial purposes across the State and development of infrastructure in Tier II and Tier III towns that would help industrialisation and prevent migration.
New Bangalore should be created to decongest the old city and the Bidar-Bangalore Highway that passes through nine districts should be upgraded to help faster movement of goods between the northern and southern parts of the State.
The biggest problem that the sector has been facing is the supply of quality power, which should be addressed and solar energy needs must be promoted. The tourism sector should also be strengthened since it can bring valuable foreign exchange. The FKCCI also wants the new government to abolish trade licence and address water issues. There are already more than a dozen licences, and trade licence is only going to lead to more red-tapism.
K. Shiva Shanmugam, president, Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry
(As told to Sharath S. Srivatsa)