Karnataka Industries Minister Murugesh Nirani on Friday assured setting up of a ‘star category industrial area’ in Belagavi, as a BJP MLA from this border district expressed concerns about no mega industry coming here in recent times, and investments flowing into neighbouring Maharashtra, thanks to facilities there.
Lamenting that such a questions arise in their mind whether Belagavi is in Karnataka with no push for industrialisation here by the government, Belagavi South MLA Abhay Patil, raising the issue during the question hour, said mere passing of resolutions and speeches asserting that the district belongs to the state, won’t help.
Pointing out that at the Global Investors’ Summit held recently an estimated Rs 9.81 lakh crore worth MoUs were signed which has potential to create an estimated six lakh jobs, Nirani said, the “speciality” this time is only plus or minus 10 per cent of the investment will happen in Bengaluru, as we are not giving any incentive or subsidy for industries coming in Bengaluru, and because of this plus or minus 90 per cent of industries are coming in tier two cities like Belagavi, Hubballi-Dharwad, Kalaburagi, Mysuru and Managaluru.
Under the ‘one district-one project programme’, priority will be given to Belagavi, he said, adding that ‘Gold Plus Glass’, a Delhi-based company is investing Rs 2,500 crore in Hukkeri, and they will also be investing in the next phase.
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Also, a Russian company that manufactures electric vehicles has come forward to invest, he said. “We have tried to convince them to do it in Belagavi or Dharwad or Kalaburagi, and we have promised good incentives and facilities. The delegation had come to Belagavi to meet us. It is more than Rs 2,000 crore investment and we also have land availability.” Belagavi is known for foundry, he further said. “Whether it is automobile or foundry we will bring more industries in these sectors here in Belagavi and by acquiring more land we will create a star category industrial area here in the days to come, as this is a border area and neighbouring Maharashtra has a star category industrial area nearby.” Earlier, stating that it is unfortunate that industries are not coming to Belagavi, Patil said, while the government has announced “Beyond Bengaluru” initiative to push for investments in other districts, investments are not going beyond Hubballi, “so we are appealing to government do something called beyond Hubballi.” “The situation for local legislators is such that we need to ask whether Belagavi is in Karnataka, there are no industries here…..it has been 30-35 years no big industries have come here. What is the use of coming and making speeches that Belagavi is part of Karnataka, when you are unable to provide jobs to youth here, there is no use of any resolutions,” he said.
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Pointing out that there is 5,000-acre Kagal industrial estate at nearby Kolhapur in Maharashtra and industries that could have come here are going there, he said, “when you are preparing industrial policy for the state, if you make special policy for border district like Belagavi, industries will come, or else they won’t come as Maharashtra is giving more incentives. Conducive atmosphere has to be created for the automobile industry to come here.” As Speaker Vishveshwar Hegde Kageri suggested special incentive should be given to industries in border areas, Minister Nirani said, it may become an issue as there are borders nearer to Bengaluru as well like- Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra.
“If there is more than Rs 500 crore investment on a one-to-one discussion basis, we will try to give a special package,” he said.
The Minister also said, as Belagavi is a suitable place with with airport and Goa and Karwar ports near by, for setting up of semiconductor unit and data centre among others. “we will look into it in the days to come”.