Thursday, June 19, 2008

State Clears Land for 45 SEZs, Including Mangalore


Bangalore, Jun 14: The state government formally approved more than 2,400 hectres of land for setting up 45 special economic zones (SEZs) in Karnataka expected to bring in total investment of over Rs 24,000 crore.The approved SEZs include 33 IT/ITeS companies with investment worth over Rs 18,000 crore. On Friday, major and medium industries minister Murgesh R Nirani said the approved SEZs could generate 10 lakh jobs in the next few years.

Nirani, who owns two cement units and a sugar factory in Bagalkot district, said: “As an industrialist, I am aware of investors’ problems. This government wants to create an investor-friendly climate in the state.’’Investment to the tune of Rs 3,384 crore and earmarking 112 hectres exclusively for airport-based SEZ has been formally approved. Sector-specific product SEZs contribute Rs 1,824 crore and hardware and BT SEZs Rs 633 crore and Rs 750 crore respectively.

The Centre, which gives in-principle approvals for all SEZs in the country, has given its nod to only 8 SEZs in Karnataka having total investments of Rs 20,220 crore, including Rs 400 crore from the IT/ITeS sectors.Nirani said the government, without going in for acquisition of fertile land, will seek the consent of the farmers before developing a SEZ. “Of the developed land, about 20% will be given to farmers, besides employment to one member from the family,’’ he said.Proposed seven exclusive industrial zonesSteel zone — Bellary, Koppal, Raichur districtCement zone — Bagalkot, Bijapur, Gulbarga, BijapurFood processing zone — Shimoga, Mysore, Bijapur, Bagalkot, Kolar, Bangalore RuralIT/ BT zone — Mangalore, Mysore, Hubli-Dharwad, BelgaumAutomobile zone — Dharwad and BangaloreReadymade garment zone — Bangalore, Bellary and MysorePetroleum, chemicals and petrochemicals complex — Mangalore and UdupiIn-principle nod for NandagudiMajor and medium industries minister Murgesh R Nirani said that the government has given in principle approval for the Nandagudi SEZ, but its promoters have to acquire land.Keeping regional interests in mind and also to focus on the rapid development of backward areas, Nirani said the government proposed setting up of seven exclusive industrial zones to promote industries in steel, cement, food processing, IT/BT, petrochemicals, automobile and readymade garments.

Chennai-Bangalore-Mumbai corridorNirani said the Centre has taken up a feasibility study on the multi-crore Chennai-Bangalore-Mumbai (CBM) industrial corridor. The proposed CBM corridor, on the lines of Chennai-Bangalore corridor, will establish connectivity from Bangalore to Belgaum covering 11 districts and 20 towns. “To make Karnataka a leading industrialized state and to enhance the level of investments, we propose to develop industries along 100-150 kms on both sides of the corridor,’’ Nirani said.

In a meeting convened by department of industries policy and promotion (DIPP) in the Union ministry of commerce and industries involving Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh governments for consultation on Chennai-Bangalore corridor proposal a few months ago, the Centre gave positive signals for the state’s move to connect and extend the Chennai-Bangalore industrial corridor till Mumbai.

This could pave the way for conducting a feasibility report onCBM corridor.New industrial policyIn a move to boost industrial development, the industries minister proposes to modify the existing industrial policy. “The government wants to bring in more investment to the state through unveiling a new industrial policy in the next three months,’’ Nirani said. He said modifications would be carried out to the existing policy of 2006-11. Industrial policies of Maharastra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan would be studied before framing the new policy, Nirani added.

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