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34 investment proposals cleared

Chennai/ Bangalore: The State High Level Clearance Committee (SHLCC), a committee chaired by chief minister B S Yeddyurappa that clears investment proposals, today accorded in-principle approval to 34 industrial investment proposals.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, minister for large and medium industries Murugesh R Nirani said the government would sign a memorandum of understanding with the project proponents during the Global Investors’ Meet to be held on June 3 and 4 in Bangalore.

Nirani said these projects will involve an investment of Rs 94,300 crore. Once commissioned these projects would create employment for 98,300 persons.

Of the 34 projects, nine projects with a combined investment of Rs 74,156 crore are in the iron and steel sector, four in the energy sector with an investment of Rs 10,635 crore, four cement units at Rs 5,121 crore and Rs 1,000 crore in solar power sector. One project each in logistics, IT/TeS and BPO sectors were approved. Two projects involving an investment of Rs 207 crore were cleared in the agriculture sector.

Among the projects cleared today include a proposal by Industrial Finance Corporation of India Limited (IFCI) to set up a “financial city” near Devanahalli Industrial Area near Bangalore at an investment of Rs 1,000 crore. Just Dial, a search engine, has proposed to set up an ITTeS BPO and Software Development Centre at Devanahalli at an investment of Rs 450 crore. Moser Baer, a maker of solar PV cells, has proposed to invest Rs 1,000 crore to set up a 50 Mw solar photovoltaic power project in Chikkaballapur district.

Other projects include MNC companies, Easun Reyrole for electrical switchgears, StarragHeckert for aerospace components, Tokai Rubber Auto Parts for automotive components and Fowlerwestrup India for agriculture products processing machineries. Surya Roshini has proposed to set up CFL bulbs, energy efficient tube light and LED lamps units and GI Pipes and Steel ERW black pipes manufacturing unit in Shimoga. Gujarat Ambuja Exports Limited will be setting up maize starch plant in Shiggaon taluk of Haveri district at an investment of Rs 100 crore.


Karnataka Governmenr mulls global financial crisis

Chennai/Bangalore: Karnataka government’s plan to set up a global financial district in Devanahalli has met with enthusiasm from the banking and finance community in the preliminary meeting. The district is being envisioned as a hub for financial institutions to cater to industrial banking and finance.

“We are looking at a public private partnership (PPP) or joint venture (JV) model for the district. We will provide the land and the companies would bear the infrastructure cost,” state minister for large and medium industries Murugesh Nirani said.

He said the government had identified 200 acres of land near Bangalore International Airport at Devanahalli for the proposed district.

At a preliminary discussion organised by the government last week, senior officials from 45 banks, insurance companies and mutual funds attended and expressed their willingness to set up their offices there, Nirani told reporters.

He said the global financial district would enable industries to access finance for their projects in the state at one place as all the banks and financial institutions would be available.

With big ticket investments from companies like Arcelor Mittal, Hero Honda and Wipro expected to come into the state in the next couple of years, the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) is looking to acquire around 50,000 acres to be allotted for industrial purpose. Of this, around 12,000 acres has already been acquired, he said.
“Depending on the area, we are acquiring land at prices ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 1.5 crore per acre,” said Nirani. He added around 5,000 acres of the 50,000 acres the state is looking to acquire could fall under the fertile land category which could be de-notified.

“If more than 20 per cent of a piece of land is found to be fertile, we will go ahead and acquire the land (for industrial purpose) only if we get approval of over 80 per cent of farmers,” said Nirani.

The state government in the recent past cleared major projects including the 6 mtpa integrated steel plant, pig iron, pellets and 750 Mw captive power generation by Arcelor Mittal for a proposed investment of Rs 30,000 crore and by Posco India, which intends to invest Rs 32,336 crore in its 6 mtpa finex steel plant. Other major investments are by Zuari Fertlizers & Chemicals, Relogistics Infrastructure and, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals.

He also said that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) was a priority for the state. For this, the Laghu Udyog Bharathi (LUB) — Karnataka, K and D Communication, Ministry of MSME and National Small Industries Corporation are organising the India Manufacturing Show 2010 (IMS 2010) from October 9-12 at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre, Bangalore.

The expo is expected to see participation of over 1,000 exhibitors.


Karnataka gives nod to Mittal’s US$ 6.56 billion steel plant

New Delhi: ArcelorMittal, world's largest steel company, has received the clearance to set up a mega steel plant in Karnataka with an investment of US$ 6.56 billion. The plant promises direct employment potential for 10,000 people, according to Karnataka’s Chief Minister, B S Yeddyurappa.

A High-Level Committee led by the minister has cleared the six million tonne per annum-project recently.
ArcelorMittal has been shown sites in Karnataka near the iron mines at Bagalkote, Bijapur, Bellary and Kopal, according to an official. The company is yet to finalise a site for the Karnataka project, which includes 750MW captive power plant. This project is in addition to the Orissa and Jharkhand plants. Mittal’s ArcelorMittal controls over 10 percent of global steel production.


Karnataka sets up 7 task forces to woo investments

Bangalore: 14 The Karnataka Government has set up seven task forces for working out a structure on attracting maximum investments into the State at the Global Investors’ Meet, scheduled to be held in January 2010.

The Government has invited the Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC) to be part of three taskforces — infrastructure, agri and food processing, and tourism.

“The BCIC has come forward with its recommendations to the State Government,” Mr K.R. Girish, President – BCIC, told Business Line.

According to him, the State Government has been “very open to suggestions and free-flowing discussions” from the private sector.

The Government has to go in for “quick implementations for quick wins,” added Mr Girish.
BCIC has come out with pointers on what the Government needs to do to win infrastructural investments into the State.

Pointers for infrastructure
• Put forth a proper mechanism to create a land bank through the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board and empowering the Karnataka Udyog Mitra (the single-window agency) with requisite powers to allot the land with due clearance from all other related agencies to make the clearance process simple and easy.
• Ensure availability of quality, uninterrupted power to industries; currently, there is a total deficit of 2,500 MW in the State.
• Identify clusters along the Bangalore-Mysore Industrial Corridor, the Bangalore-Chennai Corridor, and the Bangalore-Mumbai Corridor.

“The Government should identify clusters and create the necessary economic and social infrastructure around these clusters,” said Mr Girish, also a member of the Infrastructure Taskforce.
This would help decongest Bangalore, and also take industries to other areas. A clear-cut vision to develop rural areas would also help minimise migration to cities in the State.

• Provide high-speed rail connectivity to the proposed Devanahalli Business Park and International Convention Centre near the new international airport.
With the governments of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra already heavily pitching for aerospace companies to set up shop in Hyderabad and Nagpur respectively, the Karnataka Government should act on the aerospace SEZ immediately.
• Create a clear legal structure before the global investors’ meet. For this, “we suggest that it is essential to create an independent infrastructure company as an apex holding company, on the lines of India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd, to attract investments into the State,” said Mr Girish. He added that this apex holding company would have special purpose vehicles for projects such as Metro Rail, Mono Rail, road projects, and Devanahalli Business Park.

Besides these recommendations, the BCIC plans to submit a report on incentives for investors, and also chart out a legal structure for infrastructure.
The industry body would also recommend the Government to bring in top-notch legal advisors and bankers/financial institutions into the picture. “We would also suggest thought-leaders for infrastructure,” said Mr Girish.


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