Poor air link will hit investments in Mysuru: Austrian official

Poor air link will hit investments in Mysuru: Austrian official

FKCCI prez opposes increase in minimum wages Umesh M Avvannavar

Austrian Trade Commissioner Oscar Andesner on Wednesday rued poor air connectivity between Mysuru and Bengaluru, saying it will hit future investments. Talking to DH on the sidelines of an interactive session organised by FKCCI (Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry), Andesner said that the government should improve infrastructure facilities.

“One thing which is missing between Bengaluru and Mysuru is air connectivity. We have to travel to Mysuru via road. From Bengaluru airport, it takes four to five hours. Lack of air connections between Mysuru and Bengaluru at this moment is a big hurdle our companies are complaining about.”

“Moreover, there is no direct flight from other metropolitan cities to Mysuru. If connectivity improves, there could be a lot of opportunities in choosing Mysuru as a possible investment destination,” Andesner added.

Currently, there are over 150 Austrian companies in India, and close to 20 companies have a base in Karnataka. Of these, three companies in Mysuru have generated over 1,000 jobs.

Andesner hinted that 20 companies are in the pipeline, which have shown interest in investing in India, and already 10 firms have finalised their plans. Andesner said, “Most of our companies would like to expand and bring in more Austrians to Karnataka, and in particular to Mysuru. However, there are no major international schools, which is a great handicap. We have shifted our southern headquarters from Tamil Nadu to Karnataka.”

Andesner pointed out that labour laws were going back to the early times, which is not a good sign. On labour laws, FKCCI president M C Dinesh said, “We are seriously looking at the new labour laws. If you take the new Minimum Wage Act, the government has raised the minimum wages from Rs 6,250 to Rs 10,500, whereas the neighbouring state still pays Rs 5,200, which is not accepted.”

“The government is eager to implement GST, where goods can be transported with one tax across India. Why can’t we have one wage? We cannot be competitive with other states with different wages,” Dinesh said. When there is a separate ministry for small scale industries (SSIs), one cannot have large-scale industry rules for SSIs. “Because of the size, scale and quantum of input, the large-scale companies can afford to pay Rs 10,500 as minimum wages. For SSIs, it is impossible,” he said.
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