Mr. Soumitra Bhattacharya, Chairman CII Karnataka in his opening remark set the tone for the discussion by highlighting the critical areas that needs instant attention. He called on the government to focus on the vital few i.e. manufacturing, development of Bangalore City and development of infrastructure in Karnataka that will help the state in the immediate future.
Mr. Vikram Kirloskar, Chairman & Managing Director, Kirloskar Systems Ltd & Vice Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar, said Quality, Cost and Delivery is what industry looks for while investing in a particular place and in this regard Karnataka does not lag behind cities in South East Asia, however the big differentiator is ease of doing business and transparency, an area where India is behind its competitors. He added that despite the negative points there a number of positives I.e. abundance of talent, ample training, innovation and a large market.
According to Mr. M Maheshwar Rao IAS, Commissioner for Industrial Development and Director of Industries & Commerce Government of Karnataka, the points raised by industry were very valid but however one needs step back and take a broader view, currently Karnataka’s economic growth is higher than the national average. Ease of doing business though a concern is not the only reason affecting growth. There are problems with land, infrastructure, ports and water that the government is currently addressing. He called on industry to focus on sectors where there is a high level of competence i.e. aerospace, biotech etc. He also assured the industry that the Karnataka Government is working on implementing online regulatory clearance for industry.
Mr. Lakshmi Narayana IAS, Commissioner BBMP, said that Bangalore’s problem started post 2008 when the city was extended to include suburban areas as Greater Bangalore. The city has seen unprecedented and sometimes arbitrary growth and it is impossible for the government to provide adequate roads, water, power etc. with limited resources. He called on the citizens of Bangalore to assist the Government in its attempt at regaining the old glory of the City.
Other dignitaries who actively took part in the discussions include, Dr. Vaman N Acharya, Chairman, Pollution Control Board, government of Karnataka, Mr. P N Srinivasachary IAS, Principal Secretary Urban Development Department, Mr. Ravishankar IAS, Chairman, BWSSB, Mr. D Satyamurthy IAS, Principal Secretary, Water Department, Dr. Steffen Berns, President and Country Head, Bosch India & Managing Director, Bosh Ltd, Mr. Bhaskar Bhat, Managing Director, Titan Industries and Mr. L Krishnan, Managing Director, Taegutec India Ltd.
For achieving the Vision 2020 Karnataka needs to work on developing its infrastructure, energy, water supply and roads and make it among the best locations in the world to attract business. During the discussions Industry leaders called on the Government to undertake various projects to improve connectivity between Bangalore and neighbouring cities for attracting investments in these areas. The speakers from both the government and industry were of the view that the onus of developing the city lies not just the Government and Industry but also with each and every citizen. The Conclave has set a new vision for Karnataka – to make it one of the most attractive destination for industry and people alike - and all stakeholders agreed to come together and work towards it.