Extension of industrial corridor to C'durga okayed

Union Minister for Commerce and Industries Anand Sharma on Saturday said the Centre had accepted Karnataka’s request to extend the proposed Chennai-Bangalore industrial corridor to Chitradurga.

He was speaking after holding a meeting on infrastructure projects with Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar here. Sharma said the Centre had already given in-principle approval for a study on the Mumbai-Bangalore industrial corridor. The government is yet to come out with the terms of reference for the proposed corridor.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram had announced two industrial corridors: Bangalore-Chennai and Bangalore-Mumbai. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and the Japan International Co-Operative Agency are preparing a comprehensive plan for the Chennai-Bangalore industrial corridor.

He said he had discussed with Shettar the national manufacturing policy, apparel park and infrastructure facilities for the industrial corridor. Karnataka is doing well in the service sector. The UPA government has approved the National Investment and Manufacturing Zone, which is coming up in Tumkur. The State has proposed a similar zone for Gulbarga, which is under consideration, he said.

To a question regarding foreign direct investment (FDI), Sharma said the fears of Karnataka over FDI in retail were unfounded because the government had allowed organised retail in India for the last 13 years.

"I do not know where the fears have come from because organised retail is already in India. You have all the corporate majors engaging in organised retail, whether it is Reliance, the Tatas, the Birlas and Biyanis. Is this a fact or not?"

Sharma said 10 states have been notified and for both single and multi-brand, the Centre is imposing a condition that 30 per cent of the sourcing should be from Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

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