EDITORIAL FEATURES

Targeting investments of Rs. 5 lakh crore

From creation of infrastructure to encouraging research and development in the State, the Karnataka Industrial Policy 2014-19 aims to attract investments of more than Rs. 5 lakh crore.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who unveiled the vision for the Department of Commerce and Industry, said the policy would build a “prosperous Karnataka through inclusive, sustainable and balanced” industrial development. He added that the policy would aim for a 12 per cent growth rate annually, and enhance the contribution of manufacturing sector to 20 per cent, from 16.87 per cent of the State Gross Domestic Product.

The policy gives “special attention” to women entrepreneurs (5 per cent reservation of KIADB land) and persons from Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (22.5 per cent reservation of land), minority, backward classes and ex-servicemen communities (5 per cent reservation cumulatively for all three communities). Decongestion of Bengaluru and the development of Hyderabad-Karnataka region are other priority areas of the policy. For the creation of infrastructure, the Industrial policy will attempt to establish new industrial areas – to the extent of 40,000 acres across the State – through the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB). The industries will be allotted land on a 99-year lease basis, and have been promised 24 hours of power supply.

The floor-area ratio has been increased to 3 from the present 1; while average ground coverage has been increased to 76 per cent instead of the current 45 per cent to ensure the land allotted to industries within the KIADB parks are “optimally used”.

Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises will be allotted at least 20 per cent of the land in KIADB parks through a district-level single-window clearance committee.To boost logistics and spread the development of manufacturing sector across Karnataka, the State government proposes to set up Industrial Corridors. Seven corridors have been planned, including Bengaluru-Mysuru-Chamarajanagar; Bengaluru-Hassan-Mangaluru; Chitradurga-Haveri-Karwar; and Raichur-Bagalkote-Belgavi.

Subsidies of around Rs. 15 crore to Rs. 20 crore will be provided in taluks that do not have “anchor industries” – that is, industries with investment of over Rs. 250 crore, and which employ at least 150 persons.

Similarly, Special Investment Regions (SIR) will be set up in Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri and Belagavi districts; while eight cities have been identified as industrial nodes. Currently industrial parks in Peenya, Mysuru, Bommasandra, Belagavi and Hubli will be declared as “Industrial Township Areas” which will rationalise tax and cess collection.