Tier 2-3 cities will drive $300bn IT dream: Narayan

Tier 2-3 cities will drive $300 bn IT dream: Karnataka Dy CM Ashwath Narayan

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa and Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan at the Bengaluru Tech summit 2020 on Thursday. DH Photo/Pushkar V

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan said Tier-2/3 cities will propel Karnataka towards its goal of becoming a $300 billion (Rs 22.26 lakh crore) digital economy over the next five years, helping the state maintain its lead in the IT sector which has so far been driven by Bengaluru.

"Karnataka's digital economy is already worth $52 billion (Rs 3.85 lakh crore). Over the next five years, we are looking at achieving $300 billion business from the IT/ITeS sectors. The government has initiated several measures to achieve this target," Narayan said on Thursday at the inaugural session of the 23rd Bengaluru Tech Summit.

He said the government is encouraging investors to go beyond Bengaluru and look at Tier-2/3 cities, which he said will contribute substantially towards achieving this target.

In due course, the state will also become a $1 trillion economy and contribute significantly towards achieving Prime Minister Narendra Modi's target of making India a $5 trillion economy by 2025, Narayan said.

To achieve these targets, the state government has set up the Karnataka Digital Economy Mission (KDM). The KDEM will help in accelerating the digital economy goals, the minister said.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said the state is looking at garnering 50% share of the national bio-economy, which is targeted to reach $100 billion (Rs 7.42 lakh crore) by 2025. 

"Karnataka has been at the national forefront in harnessing the benefits of biotechnology for the past two decades," he said.

"We are keen on making Karnataka the most attractive destination for investment, particularly for high-end technologies," Yediyurappa said.

The Chief Minister said his government had taken a number of steps to enhance the overall business environment and cited "amendments to labour and land laws, establishment of Karnataka Digital Economy Mission, Karnataka Innovation Authority" as some of the major steps taken in this direction.

As is evident from the newly released IT policy of Karnataka, the government is taking further steps to vigorously push IT beyond Bengaluru, aiming to generate over 6 million direct and indirect jobs in the next five years, he said. 

Narayan said several initiatives like KDM and Go Beyond Bengaluru will also help the state to achieve the target of $150 billion in IT exports in the next five years.