Karnataka has reconfirmed its status of being one of the premier investment destinations in the country by sewing up investments totalling over Rs 4 lakh crore this year. As part of the two-day Global Investors Meet (GIM) that began Thursday over 400 MoUs will be signed,some of which involve global giants such as Posco,ArcelorMittal,Infosys,Wipro,Essar,GAIL and the Aditya Birla Group.
The states image as an investment destination had taken a beating over the years,with the successive state governments,post the SM Krishna regime,taking little or no decisive steps to attract global firms. But it looks like the state has caught hold of the magic wand again,and has even attracted investments in districts like Gulbarga,Bagalkot and Belgaum. Over 60% of the projects would be located outside Bangalore.
We are very buoyant on Karnataka, said Kumar Mangalam Birla,chairman of the Aditya Birla Group which is investing Rs 8,500 crore in different ventures in the state,a bulk of it in cement plants. The new investment can create 15,000 jobs in the state. The group,which has a presence in Karnataka since the 1970s,has so far invested around Rs 5,000 crore in the state including investments in its fibre and aluminium plant,financial services and retail.
The IT firms Wipro and Infosys have also decided to pump in further investments,cushioning the industrial climate further. Wipro will be investing Rs 537 crore to set up a software export hub at Sarjapur on Bangalores outskirts. Another 25,000 people will be recruited on account of this. The company is also planning a campus in Mysore. Infosys meanwhile announced that it would open a software development centre in Bangalore at a cost of Rs 2,250 crore. It will employ an additional 18,000 people as part of this move.
Azim Premji,chairman of Wipro,was however a little critical. Karnataka should be more aggressive in attracting investments in the manufacturing sector,the way Tamil Nadu has done. We already have a reputation in attracting the services industry to Karnataka.
Investments are coming in from Far-East too. South-Korean steel major Posco,which was dragging over setting up its steel plant in Karnataka,has agreed to invest Rs 32,000 crore to set up 6-mtpa capacity steel manufacturing facility in Karnataka.