Industrial development is key to economic growth, says the Revenue Minister

Revenue Minister V. Srinivas Prasad on Monday said that the Congress government is working on bringing in a visible change in the next six months and observed that the support from the industrial sector was significant in driving the State’s economic growth.

“The people have given us a clear mandate and we are here to give a stable government. Industrial development is key to economic progress. I will speak to the Chief Minister, who also holds the Industry portfolio, on the issues raised by the industry and trade bodies,” the Minister said.

Speaking after inaugurating the fourth State-level conference of District Chambers of Commerce and Industry organised jointly by the Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) and the Mysore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) here, he said that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is preparing to present the budget in July and the industry bodies such as FKCCI had apprised him of the needs of the sector at a pre-budget meeting.

Mr. Prasad said that the government was focussing on resource mobilisation rather than the size of the budget. Revenue from the Excise, Commercial Tax and other departments was being studied.

Referring to the industry demands, the Minister said, “I can understand your problems as I have been a Minister at the Centre and Member of Parliament for nearly 25 years. We are in a competitive environment and competition from countries such as China is intense. Since the Chief Minister also holds the Finance and Industry portfolios, I am sure he will respond to your suggestions.”

About convenient clearances for investors in other countries, Mr. Prasad said, “Investors are given a red carpet welcome in other countries while they face red tapism here. We need to overcome this.”

Suggesting that emerging sectors such as the agro-based and food processing industries should get priority, Mr. Prasad said that the Congress government will address the concerns of the industries.

Mysore MP A.H. Vishwanath, who was the chief guest, said that the outcome of the conference would be conveyed to the government.

Policy-making

Earlier, in his welcome address, FKCCI president K. Shiva Shanmugam said that the Chambers of Commerce and Industry should get representation in policy-making.

“We are ready to work with the government to foster development if we get a say in policy-making,” he said.

Industry and trade constitute a sizeable voting population and its aspirations must be addressed suitably for the State’s economic progress, he said. He urged the government to rope in the district chambers of commerce in realising its development agenda. In his address, MCCI president Sudhakar S. Shetty urged the Revenue Minister to ensure that the single window committee chaired by the Deputy Commissioner meets once a month. He said that the committee should be empowered to clear projects worth up to Rs. 15 crore. He sought representation for members from industries in the District Advisory Committee.

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