Karnataka Industries Minister seeks report on job cut

Karnataka’s Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar. DH file photo

Karnataka’s 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 sought a report on the impact that 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. “The Modi regime has focussed on industrialization, startups and skill development. We can’t say when things will boost up. All we can do is have policies in place,” Shettar said. 

The former CM said he had sought a report on how the economic slowdown has hit Karnataka. “I asked for 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 prevailing slowdown can render at least 30 lakh people jobless in the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector, industry body Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (KASSIA) has cautioned. Bengaluru’s Peenya Industries Association (PIA) has witnessed a 30% decrease in business due to the slowdown. 

Karnataka’s new industrial policy, which Shettar said is being prepared, will focus on attracting investments to and creation of jobs in backward areas. “Everything has become Bengaluru-centric. But 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-2 cities. Now that I’ve been given this responsibility, I will work for it.” 

Shettar said he had asked officials to streamline the single-window approval system to enable ease of doing business. “Red tapism in allotment of land and delays in clearances has made the single-window system into one with 3 or 5 windows,” he rued. 

The government is also keen on organizing Global Investors Meet sometime next year. “The previous government wanted to organize it in January 2020. I will discuss with the chief minister on exactly when it should be held. But we want to organize investors meet,” he said. 

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