Karnataka concluded the Global Investors Meet (GIM 2010) late Friday on a high note, with investments worth Rs.4 trillion (about $.85 billion) flowing in for about 400 projects to be implemented over next four-five years to generate employment potential for 865,000 people.
The two-day mega event, held for the second time after a decade, witnessed agreements being signed even at the valedictory function by seven firms and 20 state-run and private banks with the state government committing funds for infrastructure.
Among the leading firms that entered into memoranda of understanding (MoU) in the concluding session are Tata Metaliks for enhancing its steel production capacity to three million tonnes per annum (mtpa) from 0.7 mtpa at an investment of Rs.15,000 crore (Rs.150 billion) and Zuari Fertilizers & Chemicals Ltd committing to invest Rs.650 crore for one mtpa plant in Uttara Kannada district in the coastal region.
Similarly, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Note Mudran Ltd has signed an MoU to set up a 12 mtpa currency note paper manufacturing plant at Mysore for Rs.1,180 crore.
'We need to take this momentum forward and accelerate industrialisation in Karnataka with an inclusive growth. The state government should set up a task force with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to achieve the set goals within the timeframe,' Tata Steel vice-chairman B. Muthuraman said at the valedictory function.
Among the major banks that have entered into MoU with the state government are State Bank of India (SBI), Canara Bank, Syndicate Bank, IDBI Bank, Bank of India, Andhra Bank, Indian Bank, Vijaya Bank and Axis Bank.
Union Labour Minister Mallikarjuna Kharge, who hails from Karnataka, assured the state government of the central government's full support in facilitating the execution of various projects in diverse sectors.
'There are no short-cuts in this approach and unless we have the infrastructure in place, we cannot expect investors to come and set up industries in the state,' Kharge reminded the state government.
In his valedictory address, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa made clear that the agreements or the total volume of investments generated was only a first step in the long journey of the state's industrial progress.
'A new era of industrial revolution has begun in Karnataka. Our government will not spare any effort in fulfilling its promises to the investors, including meeting deadlines,' Yeddyurappa told the participants.
State industries department Principal Secretary V.P. Baligar said the state government had received 88 fresh proposals worth Rs.90,000 crore in the infrastructure sector under the public-private partnership (PPP) mode.
'These proposals will be taken up at the next state's high level committee meeting along with 56 more industry proposals worth Rs.78,395 crore that were received in the last one week,' Baligar said.
Of the 400 projects, 208 were signed on the first day of the GIM (Thursday) worth Rs.3.29 trillion (Rs.3.3 lakh crore).
Iron & steel sector attracted 38 proposals worth Rs.2.21 trillion (Rs.2.2 lakh crore), followed by cement sector with nine projects worth Rs.36,991 crore (Rs.370 billion) and energy sector with eight projects worth Rs.25,214 crore (Rs.252 billion).
Among the major steel projects are from ArcelorMittal, Posco and Bramhani Karnataka Ltd, which have proposed to set up six mtpa plants each at an estimated cost of Rs.30,000-36,000 crore in Bellary and Bagalkote districts.
The state government has set up a cabinet sub-committee headed by the chief minister to sanction additional incentives on a case-by-case basis and depending on the quantum of investment.