Industries minister seeks report on job cuts

Jagadish Shettar

Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar on Tuesday strongly defended the Modi administration at the Centre on the economic slowdown, saying it was a temporary phenomenon, but has also sought a report the impact it has had on the state. 

“This recession (slowdown) is just for the time being. It’s not a long-term thing. The Centre is taking steps to control it,” Shettar told reporters.

“But  I have sought a report on how many industries have become sick, or the number of jobs that have been cut due to the recession. I’ll get a report in 15 days,” Shettar said. 

“The Modi regime has focussed on industrialisation, startups and skill development. We can’t say when things will boost up. All we can do is have policies in place,” Shettar added. 

Industry body Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (Kassia) has cautioned that the prevailing slowdown can render at least 30 lakh people jobless in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector. Bengaluru’s Peenya Industries Association (PIA) has witnessed a 30% decrease in business due to the slowdown. 

Shettar said Karnataka’s new industrial policy will focus on attracting investments to and creation of jobs in backward areas.

“Everything has become Bengaluru-centric. Investments should reach Vijayapura, Belagavi, Davangere, Bidar and so on. I’ve asked
officials to make sure the policy deals with creating jobs where they are necessary,” he said.

When it was pointed out that successive governments have tried to divert investments away from Bengaluru, Shettar said: “I’m aware of that. It requires political will to shift investments from Bengaluru to Tier-II cities.
Now that I’ve been given this responsibility, I will work for it.” 

Officials have been directed to streamline the single-window approval system to enable ease of doing business, Shettar said. “Redtapism has made the single-window system into one with 3 or 5 windows,” he rued. 

The government is also keen on organising Global Investors Meet sometime next year.

“The previous government wanted to organise it in January 2020. I will discuss with the chief minister on exactly when it should be held.” 


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