After Davos trip, K’taka CM announces key reforms

After Davos trip, Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa announces key reforms

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and Large and Medium Scale Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar during the press conference at CM home office ‘Krishna’ in Bengaluru on Saturday, January 25, 2020. (DH Photo)

Flush from his visit to the World Economic Forum, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Saturday announced some sweeping pro-industry reforms, including a policy change that will allow investors to purchase land from farmers in a 30-day timeframe. 

Yediyurappa said the government will amend Section 109 of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act, which deals with investors or industries purchasing agricultural land directly from farmers. 

“At present, there’s a 60-day process, which we are reducing to 30 days. If the process is delayed beyond 30 days, then it will be deemed approved,” the CM told a news conference. 

Delay in the purchase of land is the common complaint industries have, the CM said, adding that several investors he met at the Davos event raised this. “We are not removing Section 109, but amending it so that it will benefit both farmers and industries,” Yediyurappa said. 

The government has also decided to introduce a 30-day limit for authorising the use of agricultural land for non-agricultural or industrial purposes. “The online process will be simplified and if the conversion orders are not passed within 30 days, then it will be deemed approved,” Yediyurappa said. 

Karnataka has been bullish on attracting industries amid stiff competition from the neighbouring Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The state has already taken up several reforms for the ease of doing business, Yediyurappa pointed out. 

“You may ask how much money will flow into the state following my visit to the World Economic Forum. That’s simply not possible to say. But thousands of crores are expected to flow in,” Yediyurappa said, flanked by Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Chief Secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar. 

Between January 20-23, Yediyurappa, Shettar, Bhaskar and others were at Davos showcasing investment opportunities in Karnataka and holding talks with over 40 companies and industrialists. “It was a historic visit in that we have inked agreements that no other state has,” Yediyurappa said. 

According to Shettar, Karnataka has earmarked about 30,000 acres for industrial use. “Of this, about 12,000 acres is ready to be made available for industries,” he said. 

Asked about India’s economic slump and its affect on investments in the state, Shettar said the slowdown was temporary. “As a state, Karnataka has maintained a GDP of 9-9.6%,” he said.