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Tesco to invest 680 cr in State, M'rashtra

Bangalore, Dec 23, 2013 DHNS 0:18 IST
Tesco to invest 680 cr in State, M'rashtra. Reuters file image
Emphasising the fact that Karnataka will be one of the first ‘beneficiaries’ of Foreign Direct Investment in multi-brand retail, Union Minister for Commerce and Industries, Anand Sharma, on Monday announced that the UK retail Tesco would invest $110 million (about Rs 680 crore) in the first tranche in Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Sharma said the Centre had given the approval for Tesco and Tata to enter into a joint venture to set up retail outlets. “On the space available and where they want their shops, it will be the business side of the entire operations which will be dealt with by the State government and the company,” he said.

According to the Union ministry officials, Tesco has agreed to increase the number of outlets by three to five every year henceforth after the initial investment. As per the FDI policy, Tesco will mandatorily have to spend 50 per cent of their investments towards strengthening the back-office of their retail outlets in three years. This would mean storage units and proper facilties for procuring produce from the farmers.

With regard to the space for their proposed outlet, based on the consumption pattern, Commerce and Industry department officials said Bangalore was definitely on the top of the list for Tesco and Tatas to start operations.

Meanwhile, the Centre has made its intent clear to make Karnataka one of the premier states in industrialisation. Sharma, along with his ministry officials and Board chairpersons, had interactions and meetings with industry captains and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

While he spoke of the old approved projects, Sharma, did add a few more the Centre intended to set up in the State. One among them is the extension of the National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZ) to Gulbarga.

Sharma said the Centre had approved three NIMZs in Tumkur, Bidar and Gulbarga with one more in the pipeline. “It must be noted that during the previous regime, we had only one NIMZ approved in Tumkur. After the Congress returned to power, Karnataka has got three NIMZ and even the ITIR. The ITIR will also be extended the same privileges and discounts as that of NIMZ,” he said.

On land acquisition, which will be the sole equity contribution by the State government, Siddaramaiah said that about 12,500 acres will be acquired for NIMZ Bidar (5,000 acres), NIMZ Gulbarga (5,000 acres) and ITIR in Devanahalli (2,500 acres).

Sharma said the Centre had also decided to set up a mega leather manufacturing cluster in Karnataka. He said the Centre would soon set up a joint steering committee for the Indo-UK investment in the 2,000-km Bangalore-Mumbai economic corridor project. He said the committee would oversee the expenditure of the investment in the project.

The industrial corridor between Chennai-Bangalore-Chitradurga has also received the Centre’s approval and a feasibility study has been commissioned for the project.

The ministry also gave its in-principle approval for a Spice Park in Haveri and a Pepper Park. The two parks will be commissioned by the Union Ministry for Commerce and Industry in association with the Horticulture department. “We will also expedite the process to set up modern storage units and simplify procedure for export of perishable goods from Bangalore. This facility will soon be started at Kempegowda International Airport,” he said.

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