General V K Singh,
Hon’ble Union Minister of State for External Affairs,
Shri Sarbananda Sonowal,
Hon’ble Chief Minister of Assam,
Dr Raman Singh,
Hon’ble Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh,
Shri Devendra Fadnavis,
Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra,
Shri V. Narayanaswamy,
Hon’ble Chief Minister of Puducherry,
My colleagues and officers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. At the outset, I warmly welcome General V. K. Singh and the Chief Ministers present here.
2. It is my privilege to be seated amidst the Chief Ministers of some of the progressive States in the country to share my thoughts about the salient features of Karnataka that makes it a delight for the investors from all over the World.
3. In our federal set up each State needs to contribute its mite to make India a power to reckon with in the comity of nations.
4. We need to complement each other by putting in place the best practices being followed in our respective States.
5. We also need to understand our respective strengths and opportunities, so that, we could overcome our weaknesses and squarely face threats with confidence.
6. I would like to briefly touch upon the aspects of Karnataka regarding Governance Model adopted towards industry and its people.
Karnataka’s inherent and acquired strengths :
7. Industrialization in Karnataka started during the reign of the Maharaja of Mysore Krishna Raja Wodeyar IV, between 1902 and 1940.
8. The then Princely State of Mysore was flourished with many projects in the field of electrification, rail and road infrastructure, healthcare, higher education, banking and financial services, consumer products, agriculture and tourism.
9. By all counts the Maharaja was a visionary and this was a golden period in the history of Karnataka. So much so, Mahatma Gandhi described him as a “Rajarshi” or a “saint king”.
10. I wish to recall the words of Engineer-Statesman Sir M Visvesvaraya who had said Industrialize or Perish. True to his words our State has seen a great revolution in the industrial sector. The Mysugar Company, Mysore Paper Mills,Mysore Lamps, Mysore Sandal Oil Factory, Mysore Chemicals and Fertilizers were born then.
11. Some of the great institutions established in those days like the Indian Institute of Science, National Dairy Research Institute, University of Mysore, Maharani’s Science College for Women, State Bank of Mysore, Mysore Chamber of Commerce, Mysore Sandal Oil factory, Minto Eye Hospital still exist.
12. This legacy continued through our independence when numerous Public Sector Undertakings were established in the State including Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Hindustan Machine Tools, Defence Research Development Organization, National Aerospace Laboratories, Indian Space Research Organization, Bharat Electronics Limited, Indian Telephone Industries.
13. It is said that legacies are hard to sustain but I must proudly say that successive State Governments have been able to do exactly that and more – by providing the ideal ecosystem and support for further industrial growth and development. It is this ecosystem which gradually nurtured the high technology sector for which Karnataka is famous today.
14. If you look around, you will notice that whether it is agriculture, manufacturing or services, Karnataka has every kind of industry and industrial sector and each of them are doing some outstanding work.
15. In summing up the first part of my address, there are primarily two strengths that Karnataka possesses which position the State uniquely are : Firstly, the strength of “Nature” and “Natural Resources. Our alluvial soil is among the richest in the world, seven major river basins, numerous lakes and underground water sources provide excellent opportunities for development of irrigation facilities, 10 agro climatic zones enable production all kinds of crops, fruits and vegetables, Excellent reserves of limestone, bauxite, granite, manganese, chromate and many other minerals which have great industrial applications, Endless forests rich with sandalwood, teak, bamboo, rosewood and medicinal plants.
16. Secondly, Karnataka’s human resources. We have the highest number of Industrial Training Institutes in the country which have become even more competitive through tie-ups with private sector. We have the highest number of Engineering and Medical colleges besides many polytechnics.
17. We have the best industrial climate compared to anywhere in the country. The unique feature of Karnataka’s workforce is that from fresh and raw graduates to rocket scientists we have the human resources suitable for any kind of industry.
18. Friends, any State which is blessed by natural and human resources only requires to get the third dimension right in order to succeed – and that is the dimension of Governance.
19. Therefore, I now turn my attention to Governance. When we assumed office nearly four years ago, we articulated a vision of “Shared prosperity” for the 65 million people who reside in Karnataka complement with the philosophy of “technology led sustainable growth”. Through this vision and governance philosophy, our Government is working towards propelling Karnataka, and in turn, India, to greatness.
20. Just in terms of numbers, over the last 4 years, Karnataka has received FDI worth 5.2 Billion US Dollars – making us the State with the second highest FDI in India.
21. We have cleared more than 500 projects worth over 20 Billion US Dollars. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has recently ranked Karnataka as the most attractive State to do business.
22. Friends, our vision and governance philosophy gives equal importance to industry as well as citizens. Similarly it gives equal importance to urban as well as rural areas. This is what will enable us achieving our dream of “Shared prosperity”.
23. Our governance focusses on 5 key pillars: Proactively implementing citizen engagement mechanisms; Conducive and consistent policies; Creating high quality infrastructure; Making massive investments in human capital; Providing a proactive and responsive administration underlined by our efforts to make Karnataka the easiest place to live, work and to do business.
24. I shall now briefly touch upon some of the major programs being implemented which will supplement these pillars.
25. Infrastructure including industrial infrastructure : We have created excellent infrastructure which is the backbone to support industrial growth including industry and product clusters, Special Economic Zones, National and State Highways. We have the highest share of renewable energy. The State has two International and three Domestic airports and 11 seaports.
26. The proposed Chennai Bengaluru Chitradurga Industrial Corridor (CBCIC) and Bengaluru-Mumbai Economic Corridor, will not only improve the growing regional significance of the Bengaluru industrial and trade and commerce cluster, but will also benefit industrially backward districts in north Karnataka.
27. A total of 3 nodes have been identified for potential industrial development with cumulatively around 40,000 hectares. Tumakur is already in advanced stage of completion. As many as 45 per cent of Karnataka’s overall area will be directly influenced by the corridors, bringing world class infrastructure and connectivity to create the country’s most competitive industrial belt.
28. On the urban infrastructure, Phase 2 of Namma Metro and work on the 2nd terminal of our Kempegowda Airport is going on in full swing.
29. Convenience to live, work and conduct business : Karnataka was first State in India to pioneer the “Ease of doing business” initiative by introducing the Karnataka Industries Facilitation Act in 2002.
30. In the recent past, we have introduced key initiatives across 5 major areas of Single Window, Land and utilities, Industrial Relations, Pollution Control and Commercial Taxes.
31. Information on land availability in industrial areas have been made online and easily accessible through GIS based system. We have created a new non-profit company “Invest Karnataka” to promote the state globally while Karnataka Udyog Mitra will continue to facilitate investments.
32. Our “Mobile One” m-governance app won a gold medal at the m-governance awards at the fourth World Government Summit in Dubai last year. Launched in December 2014 by our Hon’ble Rashtrapatiji, this app brings over 4,000 services including Government and private ones onto one integrated platform.
33. “Khajane” online treasury system was launched to facilitate efficient, effective and transparent management of its public finances. Khajane has several benefits including providing an integrated electronic platform to all stakeholders, carrying out their financial transactions and sharing data in a seamless manner, simplifying decision making, enhancing accountability and transparency in management of public finances.
34. We have also networked our urban public transport buses making it easy and convenient to trace movement of buses.
35. That is not all, we also listen. Last year, we created a Vision Group of eminent industrialists, investors, stakeholders and citizen representative of the State who now act as an advisory body to the Government of Karnataka on all matters of the economy, industry and policy.
36. Friends, today’s Karnataka has a unique and powerful combination of engaged citizens, hi-technology and outstanding talent supported by a well-oiled governance machinery.
37. As a result, we can boast of several futuristic products and services emerging from here.“Team Indus” – India’s only entry to Google’s Lunar – X Mission to land a robot on the Moon is headquartered in Bengaluru.
38. “Mangalyaan” – The Mars Orbiter Mission – India’s first interplanetary mission and “Chandrayaan” – The lunar probe mission were both conceived and delivered from here. As we speak scientists and engineers in the State are working on Mangalyaan-2 and Chandrayaan-2 .“Tejas” – India’s Light Combat Aircraft is rolling out from a factory in this vicinity.
39. Karnataka is the fountainhead of global Research and Development – more than 400 Multi-National Companies have their global Research and Development Centres here – perhaps the largest concentration of such centres anywhere in the World.
40. Some of India’s best known start-ups are emerging from here – Flipkart, Ola, Big Basket, Quikr, In Mobi and many others. The list of home grown and multinational companies which are headquartered here need no introduction – Infosys, Wipro, TCS, Biocon, Dynamatic, Airbus, Toyota, Dell, Cisco, Rolls Royce, GSK, Honda and many others.
41. Friends, Karnataka has the distinction of attracting the best talent from all over the world due to its legacy the inherent potential which exists here for success – for both professionals and for businesses. Several of our Diaspora members from different parts of the world have chosen Karnataka for making their investments, either in an individual capacity or through Private Equity and Venture Capital funds.
42. The opportunities are immense and the time is ripe. And as I said earlier, you have my personal assurance of the best governance and support framework – so, if you have a dream to contribute back to your country, I would urge you to consider Karnataka as your first choice – always.
43. Also, do spare some time exploring Karnataka – the world heritage site at Hampi, the imposing palaces at Mysuru, the mesmerizing caves of Badami, the stunning falls at Jog, the dome of Gol Gumbaz at Vijapaura, the Jungle Lodges at River Tern, Kabini and Bandipur.
44. If you are lucky you may spot the tigers in the Nagarhole,at the same time the Pelicans in Rangantittu sanctuary can’t go unnoticed ! Do also smell the coffee at Coorg and inhale the misty winds of Chickmagalur.
45. I sign off by wishing you grand success in your personal and professional lives.
Jai Hind! Jai Karnataka!