City now restricted to 'knowledge' projects

In an effort to drive investments towards tier II cities, the State government has drawn up a policy to henceforth restrict Bangalore for only ‘knowledge’ based and research projects.

Principal Secretary for Commerce and Industries, M N Vidyashankar told Deccan Herald that the department is pushing proposals related to manufacturing sector to north Karnataka districts to correct skewed industrial development in the State.

Accordingly, the department has claimed that more and more investors are coming forth to set up manufacturing plants in the industrial areas of Dharwad, Belgaum and Gulbarga.
However, according to the information available with Commerce and Industries department, several projects, previously, which were ‘hopeful’ taking off in these tier-II cities, have failed.

The department, in a written statement to the Legislative Council  stated that 50 per cent or more of the units in Bidar and Gulbarga had failed to take off.

Vidyashankar said the primary reason for the  closure of industries was on account of them becoming sick. However, he added that it cannot be inferred that tier-II cities are unviable for investments.

“In Bangalore too, there have been several industries in Peenya industrial area becoming sick and closing down. It is not restricted to only tier-II cities,” he said.

He said infrastructure wise, both Dharwad and Belgaum have sufficient water supply for its industrial areas. “As far as Gulbarga is considered, we will draw water from the Krishna,” he added.

In Bangalore, one of the largest foreign direct investment has come with Saudi Arabia-based petrochemical company, Sabic, pumping 100 million US dollars for their research centre.

Saudi Prince, Saud bin Abdullah bin Thenayana Al-Saud, symbolically unveiled the Rs 62-crore technology centre, earlier last week. Vidyashankar said the government has shown Sabic four locations within Bangalore for setting up their R and D facility.

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