Karnataka should create jobs than seek investments: India Inc

March 15th, 2012 - 11:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, March 15 (IANS) Even as Karnataka braces to host the second global investors meet in June, the state government came under flak from India Inc Thursday for lack of vision, poor implementation and infrastructure bottlenecks, affecting its pace of growth.

“The state government should focus on creating more jobs than seeking investments. It lacks a long-term vision to create an eco-system for accelerated growth across sectors, especially in manufacturing and services,” former Infosys Ltd director and Manipal Universal Learning chairman T.V. Mohandas Pai said at a meeting of captains of industry here.

Contesting the state government’s lofty claim of doubling the state’s gross domestic product (SGDP) by 2020, Pai said except in Bangalore, there had been no perceptible improvement in physical and social infrastructure across the state during the past decade, resulting in lop-sided growth and perpetuation of regional imbalance, especially in the backward northern region of the state.

“As a vibrant cosmopolitan and knowledge hub, Bangalore accounts for 60 percent of the state GDP. It’s the third largest city in the country in bank transactions, air traffic and real estate development.

“In the absence of similar infrastructure in other cities across the state, there is a tremendous pressure on the civic amenities of Bangalore to serve its over eight million people,” Pai said on the annual day of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) Karnataka chapter.

Pai exhorted the state government to create an industrial corridor from Bidar in the northern region to Mysore in the southern region with an eight-lane and six-lane highways and clusters at every 100 km for setting up manufacturing and processing units in different verticals

He said it was imperative to shift a substantial workforce from the farm sector to manufacturing and services sectors for accelerating the state’s GDP growth and reducing the regional imbalance.

“As 55-60 percent of the population still depends on the agriculture sector, which contributes only three percent to the state GDP, there is an urgent need to move majority of the farm labour to the growth sectors like manufacturing and services, by educating them and training them with skill sets,” Pai told the confederation members in the presence of top officials from the state.

Referring to the theme on ‘Karnataka Competitiveness - Has Time Come for an Image Makeover?’, Pai said the need of the hour was not image makeover.

But a drastic shift on priorities of the government and time-bound implementation was needed for creating an enabling environment to generate jobs.

Echoing Pai, Volvo Buses India Ltd chairman Akash Passey said the state government should build world class infrastructure through public-private partnership on fast-track to create an investment climate for global manufacturing companies in diverse sectors to set up their facilities in the state.

“An enabling environment as in Gujarat and Maharashtra is required in Karnataka to attract more multinationals in growth sectors such as automotive, pharma, power, electronics and engineering goods. There is an urgent need for capacity building to generate human capital in other sectors to replicate the success in the IT sector,” Passey asserted.

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