Roadshow in US to woo IT firms to State

Roadshow in US to woo IT firms to State

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will lead a delegation on a roadshow to the US by March 2015 to attract Information Technology investments to Karnataka.

The government plans to attract multinational companies (MNCs) to Bengaluru and tier-II and tier-III cities in the State. The roadshow is being perceived as an attempt by the State to retain its position as a global destination for Information Technology.
Faced with a daunting competition from the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, the government is pushing for more investments in Karnataka.

“We already have several IT multinationals consolidating their position in Bengaluru. We intend to expand this by becoming the number one destination for IT investments,” S R Patil, the Minister for IT and BT, told reporters on Wednesday.

Patil further said that the delegation, besides Siddaramaiah and himself, would comprise officials of various departments. The plan is still in the nascent stage and the itinerary is being worked upon. Government officia­ls said the visit was likely to take place by the end of February or the first week of March 2015 after the State budget presentation. Patil said the government was making an all-out effort to retain IT giants Infosys in the Devanahalli industrial area.

The government is also pushing for uninterrupted power supply and treated
water facilities for the industrial area. “Infosys has not indicated it will move out of Karnataka but merely move back to its base in Electronics City,” he said. On the lack of interest among IT companies to move to tier-II and tier-III cities, Patil said the primary reason was they were sceptical to move out of Bengaluru.

There have been enquiries from IT firms to move to tier-II and tier-III cities after the new IT policy promised free land to firms on a 30-year lease period, besides tax sops.
“We have, in turn, sought the companies to employ 1,000 local people for every acre of land given to them on lease and reimbursements on PFs and ESI facilities,” he said.

Wi-Fi hotspots
Patil said the IT department had identified 100 hotspots in Bengaluru and two each in every district centre for wi-fi connections. These free services will be available for use for a limited period every day.

“We have received expression of interest from nine companies, and tenders will be finalised in the next 45 days,” he added.

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