Special funds sought for B'lore infra

Industry bodies, parties submit memorandum to 14th Finance Commission

The Information Technology (IT) industry and political parties on Wednesday sought allocation of special funds under the 14th Finance Commission for the much-needed infrastructure development in Bangalore.

The representatives of IT industries in the City and recognised political parties, including the Congress, BJP and the JD(S), which submitted a separate memorandum to the Commission, explained in detail about Bangalore’s infrastructure inadequacies.

The Commission, headed by Y V Reddy is on a three-day visit to the State to elicit views of various stakeholders on issues like sharing of Central taxes among States and allocation of funds to the priority sectors. It is scheduled to hold a meeting with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday.

The Commission is expected to submit its report to the Centre in October 2014, and it will come into effect from period beginning April 2014.

Former director of Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) B V Naidu, who represented Bangalore IT industry, said the City had emerged as a global hub and would be one of the largest technology clusters by 2020.

But infrastructure facilities in Bangalore is on the verge of collapse.

An estimated Rs 2.5 lakh crore is required to be invested on infrastructure development in the next 12 years, he added.

Besides, industry bodies representing manufacturing sector like Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) and the Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (KASSIA) highlighted the need for world-class infrastructure like all-weather road, uninterrupted power supply, adequate water supply, warehouse and logistics.

S Suresh Kumar of the BJP, J Alexander of the Congress and Y S V Datta of the JD(S)
made a strong pitch for special focus on Bangalore infrastructure. Alexander said Karnataka was witnessing rapid urbanisation and hence the Commission should make more allocation for urban development. States which practise efficient financial management and tax collection should be rewarded, he added.

The share of states in the Central taxes should be increased from existing 32.5 per cent to 40 per cent, cess and surcharges collected by the Centre should also be included in the divisible pool. The Central grants to panchayat bodies should be given directly and special funds should be given for backward areas other than those coming under the Hyderabad Karnataka region, Datta said.

Proposals

* Introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
* Diversion of cash surplus of PSUs held by Centre to small scale industries.
* Stimulation for overall economic growth.
* Infrastructure development.

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