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Glaring regional imbalance in industrial investment

Nagesh Prabhu

Seven districts draw a blank during 2005-06


  • Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural and Mysore received more than 65 per cent of the projects
  • No projects for Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Gadag, Chamarajanagar, Chikmagalur, Bidar and Davangere
  • Engineering sector gets the highest number of projects
  • `Industrialists keen only in investing in and around Bangalore and Mysore'
  • Bidar, Gadag and coastal districts do not attract major investments due to lack of infrastructure

    BANGALORE: Even as the Government has been increasing budgetary allocation every year for eliminating regional imbalance in the State, a glaring regional variation in industrial investment has come to light.

    Three districts - Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural and Mysore - received more than 65 per cent of the industrial projects that were cleared in 2005-06, leaving other 24 districts to share the rest. Seven districts, including the two coastal districts of Uttara Kannada and Udupi, have not received even one project.

    The State-Level Single Window Agency (SLSWA) - Karnataka Udyog Mitra - has cleared 297 projects in the below Rs. 50 crore category amounting Rs. 6,759.61 crore which is expected to generate employment to 2.92 lakh people.

    Those left out

    The districts that have not received any projects are: Uttara Kannada, Udupi, Gadag, Chamarajanagar, Chikmagalur, Bidar, and Davangere. In 2004-05 also, Bidar, Chamarajanagar, Gadag, and Udupi did not get any project.

    Industrialists also did not come forward to invest in Bagalkot, Bidar, Mandya and Haveri districts in 2004-05. The SLSWA cleared 202 projects with investments of Rs. 4,524.76 crore in 2004-05 and 164 projects amounting Rs. 3,893.47 crore in 2003-04 and 95 projects with investment of Rs. 1,822.96 crore in 2002-03.

    During 2005-06, Bangalore Urban district received the highest number of projects (82), followed by Bangalore Rural (64), Mysore (56), Bellary (26), Dakshina Kannada (11), Tumkur and Kolar (10 each), Koppal (8), Hassan (6) Belgaum, Bijapur (4 each), Shimoga (3), Bagalkot, Haveri, Kodagu, Mandya, and Chitradurga (2 each), Dharwad, Raichur, Gulbarga (1 each).

    Break-up

    The SLSWA has cleared the highest number of projects in the engineering sector (63 projects, investment of Rs. 1,382.91 crore), followed by software technology park (44, investment of Rs. 1,224.68 crores), hotel/tourism (39, investment of Rs. 1,058.30 crore) software/ hardware and textile (35 projects each, investment of Rs. 827.24 crore and Rs. 674.33 crore). The State has not received any proposal in four areas - cement, petroleum, coir products and research and development.

    A few members of the Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (KSSIA) feel that regional imbalances in industrial growth is widening.

    Industrialists are keen only in investing in and around Bangalore and Mysore, where all the infrastructure is available, they feel. For other districts, inadequate infrastructure such as frequent power failure, bad roads, and lack of marketing facilities are major constraints for investment and as such Bidar, Gadag and even coastal districts do not attract major investments. Technology and trained manpower are not available in districts, they say.

    `Provide infrastructure'

    KASSIA President Hareesh P. Hegde says the Government must provide adequate infrastructure-related inputs such as power and transport to enable entrepreneurs to produce goods at globally competitive prices.

    Small entrepreneurs do not evince interest in investing in districts owing to lack of connectivity and absence of marketing facilities.

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