Karnataka has to act faster for ease of business: Industry

Bengaluru: Karnataka has to be faster in decision-making for ease of doing business and to attract more investments in sectors other than IT services, said a business chamber chief on Thursday.

“There has to be a quick turn-around for approvals to enable investors start their businesses. As a frontline IT state, the state government should make best use of technology for ease of doing business and improve investment climate,” Bangalore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCIC) President Thyagu Valliappa told IANS.

Expressing disappointment over the southern state slipping to 13th rank this year from 9th last year in the ease of doing business as per the report of the Union government’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Valliappa said in addition to a good industrial policy, the state government had to simplify the processes and minimise delays in approvals.

“Though Karnataka tops in attracting investments, overtaking even Gujarat and Maharashtra, the state government has been lacking behind in getting its act together for automatic or time-bound clearances, especially for investments in other sectors of the economy and beyond Bengaluru,” he said.

Noting that most of the investments have been in IT services and start-ups in and around Bengaluru, the Executive Director of the Valliappa textile group said the BCIC had proposed ‘Business Beyond Bengaluru’ to the state government to decongest the state capital and open up other cities like Hassan and Mysuru for manufacturing, food processing and other sectors for local and export markets.

“Tier-two cities like Hassan and Mysuru, which are 180km and 150km from Bengaluru, with good road and rail connectivity should be promoted aggressively to attract investments by providing an enabling environment to replicate the success of Bengaluru there and in other cities across the state,” he said.

Admitting that poor implementation of the business reform action plan by the state Urban Development, Law and Revenue Departments had pushed Karnataka to the 13th position in the ease of doing business, state Industries Minister R.V. Deshpande said the state had received Rs 109,773 crore in January-July as against Rs 39,754 crore by Gujarat, Rs 10,848 crore by Andhra Pradesh and Rs 16,330 crore by Telangana during the same period.

He also urged Union Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to change the parameters for ranking the states.

“Overall business friendly ecosystem, labour situation, availability of infrastructure and human resources, receipt of investments and implementation of projects should be taken into consideration for ranking the states,” he said.