MoUs pour in at Karnataka Global Investors’ Meet (Roundup)

June 3rd, 2010 - 10:18 pm ICT by IANS  

ArcelorMittal Bangalore, June 3 (IANS) Over 40 memorandum of understandings for an investment of nearly Rs.3 lakh crore (Rs.3 trillion) in Karnataka were signed on the first day of the two-day Global Investors’ Meet (GIM) here Thursday.

Four of the biggest MoUs are in the steel sector with captive power plants envisaging a total investment of Rs 1.18 lakh crore (over Rs.1 trillion).

World’s largest steel maker ArcelorMittal signed the MoU for a six million tonnes per annum steel plant in the mining district of Bellary, about 300 km from here, at an estimated cost of Rs.30,000 crore.

ArcelorMittal chief executive Lakshmi N. Mittal said he will give priority to its Karnataka steel project, as its two other similar projects in Jharkhand and Orissa are bogged down by land issues and other approvals.

“If we see that our progress in Karnataka is ahead of others, our steel project in this state will get the first priority,” he told reporters here after signing the MoU on his maiden visit to this tech hub.

Others who signed the MoUs for steel plants are Bramhani Industries Karnataka Ltd (Rs.36,000 crore), Bhushan Steel Ltd (Rs.27,928 crore) and Surya Vijayanagar Steel & Power Ltd (Rs.24,000 crore), an official release said.

The GIM was inaugurated by senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley in the presence of Chief Minister B.S.Yeddyurappa, his cabinet colleagues, central ministers M.Veerappa Moily and Subodh Kant Sahay and a galaxy of high profile investors.

Besides Mittal, captains of Indian industry present at the GIM were Kumaramangalam Birla of Aditya Birla group, Sajjan Jindal of JSW steels, Shashi Ruia of ESSAR, Venu Srinivasan of TVS group, Azim Premji of Wipro, Kris Gopalakrishnan of Infosys and Vijay Mallya of UB group.

Both political and industry leaders hailed Karnataka as an attractive investment destination because of its skilled human resources and abundant natural resources.

“Karnataka has probably one of the best human resources in the country,” Jaitley said in his brief address.

Mittal said: “Karnataka to me is an investment destination with a strong tradition of fruitful investment through its quality educated and skilled manpower.”

Inviting the investors “to share our vision for 2020 and join our mission to build a prosperous Karnataka,” Yeddyurappa had some good news for the power-starved state and also potential investors.

“This morning Udupi thermal power plant has started generating 55 MW of power and by this month end it will go up to 600 MW,” he said. Udupi is about 400 km from Bangalore city.

Noting that Karnataka is blessed with a rich heritage, cosmopolitan culture and salubrious climate, the chief minister said the state had cordial industrial relations and conducive work culture, adding to productivity.

Moily inaugurated an exhibition on GIM’s theme “Advantage Karnataka - One State, Many Opportunities”.

The exhibition, covering about 20,000 sq ft, showcases the multiple advantages, incentives, tax reliefs and pro-industry policies of the state government, including single-window clearance, land bank and other facilities for speedy execution of projects.

Moily, the law and justice minister in the central government, said his ministry was working on plan to make India the number one hub of international arbitration.

Sahay, the food processing industries minister, released sector and district-wise profile of the state giving details of the infrastructure and resources available for various industries in different parts of the state.

Former ISRO chairman K. Kasturirangan launched an interactive website providing information on investment opportunities and to settle grievances online.

The GIM, twice postponed - once in view of the global economic slowdown and second time following devastating flood in October-November last year in large parts of north Karnataka, has been inspired by the success of Gujarat in snapping up Rs.7 lakh crore (Rs.7 trillion) investments in 2009.

In the run-up to the mega event, the state government has approved investment proposals worth Rs.3.36 trillion (Rs.336,185 crore), with iron and steel sector taking the lion’s share of Rs.2.20 lakh crore (Rs.2.2 trillion), followed by power (Rs.79, 140 crore), IT/BT (Rs.19, 188 crore) and cement (Rs.17, 857 crore).

The first GIM was held in 2000 and the then Congress government had attracted global investments worth Rs.27,000 crore (Rs.270 billion).

Besides the core infrastructure sector, the state government is confident of getting assured investments in aerospace and automobile, agro and food processing and tourism sectors.

The state industries department and the Karnataka Udyog Mitra have organized the meet in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) as associate partners.

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