'District denied facilities to attract investors'

'District denied facilities to attract investors'

Minister, MLA, govt officials rue poor investment in various fields

The government has no desire to create a conducive atmosphere in the district for investors, Mangaluru South legislator J R Lobo has said.

“No attempt is being made to provide the minimum infrastructure for companies to begin industrial work here. Under such circumstances, what good will one achieve by merely organising investors’ meets?” he asked.

The legislator spoke chairing the meet ‘Invest Dakshina Kannada 2016,’ organised jointly by the Dakshina Kannada district administration, Department of Industries and Commerce and the District Industries Centre in the City on Tuesday.

“Neither the bureaucrats nor the government is making efforts to attract investors. Unless efforts are made to provide basic facilities to them, I do not believe that any investor meet will bear fruit,” explained the legislator.

Explaining the dismal condition of the region, Lobo said, “On the one hand, it is true that the people of Dakshina Kannada are enterprising by nature. On the other hand, the investors too are not asking for more facilities – other than good roads along with proper water and electricity supply. If such infrastructure is provided to the investors, industries will grow in the region. Unfortunately, the entrepreneurs are made to beg before the government for years for even the basic facilities.”

He also cited the example of the IT Park at Mudipu that does not have proper connection roads. In spite of requesting the officials of the Department of Commerce and Industry to visit the spot, no action has been initiated, he added.

Lobo rued that even the IT sector has failed to grow in Mangaluru, “In spite of having good potential. The Bharat Shipyard firm in Mangaluru is facing a lot of problems. They too have requested the concerned officials in Bengaluru to visit the yard in the City, there has been no response.”

Promotion of tourism was also a tale of failure in Dakshina Kannada – which can give an interested person a lot of opportunities – as the rules related to CRZ are posing problems at every step. “Apart from this, there are rowdies indulging in moral policing, who are creating a lot of disinterest among tourists. No visitor would like to come to the port city of Mangaluru to enjoy his or her holidays,” he said with disappointment.

Expectations failed
District In-charge Minister B Ramanath Rai, who inaugurated the convention, concurred that the district had failed to attract the expected number of investors in spite of the potential that it has. “There is a need to attract greater investment – while simultaneously maintaining communal harmony in the district. The people of the district should join hands with the government in creating a conducive atmosphere for the investment to set up firms,” advised the minister.

District In-charge Secretary Bharath Lal Meena too rued that Dakshina Kannada had enough opportunities for promotion of tourism.

“The district, however, needs to learn from Kerala and Goa, who have created brands in the field of tourism. Various government agencies, elected representatives and stake holders too should work in coordination with one another in order to attract investment in the district. In spite of Mangaluru having provision for connectivity through sea, road, rail and air, it has failed to become the true Gateway of Karnataka,” lamented the secretary.

Health tourism
In his introductory speech, Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim said that, in spite of Dakshina Kannada having good health care system, health tourism had failed to take off in the district.

“Even allied and ancillary industries to petroleum and petrochemicals have failed to thrive in Dakshina Kannada. The Export Promotion Investment Park (EPIP) at Ganjimutt has failed to maintain high quantity of exports. The sites at the EPIP have all remained vacant,” said the deputy commissioner, adding, “There is a need to bridge the gap and attract investors to the district, so that the youth get employment and the region gets developed.”