Special Correspondent

The soap factory is located in the heart of Bangalore

Proposal is to utilise 27 acres of the unit in Bangalore for commercial purpose

A 20-acre plot has been identified at Dobbspet to relocate the soap-making factory

BANGALORE: The State Government is mulling over a proposal to shift the State-owned Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Limited (KSDL) located at Yeshwantpur to the outskirts of the city.

Addressing presspersons here on Wednesday, Minister for Large and Medium Scale Industries Murugesh R Nirani said the Government had identified a 20-acre plot at Dobbspet to relocate the soap factory.

KSDL Managing Director B.H. Anil Kumar had submitted a proposal on utilising the 27 acres of the factory in the city for commercial purpose.

To generate additional income to the factory, a commercial complex could be constructed on the land. However, no concrete plan had been worked out so far. But the factory land would not be sold to private developers or any other company.

Meanwhile, N.L. Narendra Babu, MLA, has opposed the relocation plan. The factory employees’ unions too are not in favour of it.

Mr. Nirani said a decision on shifting the factory and use of its existing land would be taken after discussions with the local MLA, MP, the employees’ union, and Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa. The Minister also favoured shifting of other industries, private and public, located in the city to the outskirts.

A new industrial policy (2008-13) would be unveiled by November-end to facilitate an investment friendly climate in the State. The draft of the proposed policy had been sent to industry associations inviting suggestions. The policy aimed at simplification of investment proposals and expediting the execution of industrial projects. The Minister said a circular had been issued to deputy commissioners instructing them to identify 500 to 10,000 acres of land near State highways and national highways in the districts. Already, 18 districts had submitted reports on the land acquisition process, while the remaining ones were expected to submit them soon, he said.

A legal cell would be established at the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) to settle disputes with farmers on land acquisition. The cell would be headed by a retired judge of the Karnataka High Court.

The Vision Group would meet on November 23 to decide whether to hold the Global Investors’ Meet as planned in January next year or defer it, taking into consideration the economic slowdown the world over.

The Vision Group, set up under the chairmanship of Infosys CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan, is a panel constituted for implementing Karnataka’s vision document and its subsequent implementation. The meeting, to be held on Infosys campus in Mysore, would deliberate the pros and cons of postponing the event or going ahead with it as per schedule, he said.

There have been suggestions on the possibility of postponing the meet in view of the global economic slowdown, he said. However, preparations for the event scheduled for January 15 and 16, aimed at attracting investments to the State, were under way, the Minister added.

Cheque presented

Mr. Nirani, Commerce and Industries Department Principal Secretary V. Umesh and Mr. Anil Kumar handed over a dividend cheque of Rs. 2,70,50,000 to the Chief Minister.