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Karnataka looks to raise Rs1 trillion investments

Inaugurating the investor summit, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said that while the greatest advantage for the state is its “first-rate human resource”, its challenge is to grow 2-3% ahead of India’s gross domestic product. Photo: PTIPremium
Inaugurating the investor summit, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said that while the greatest advantage for the state is its “first-rate human resource”, its challenge is to grow 2-3% ahead of India’s gross domestic product. Photo: PTI

Event comes in a bid by Karnataka to regain investor confidence, which seems to have taken a beating in the face of Bengaluru's inadequate infrastructure

Bengaluru: Karnataka’s investor summit began on Wednesday with some big money put on the table such as a 11,500 crore investment commitment from the Adani Group, 2,000 crore from the Aditya Birla Group and a 35,000 crore pledge by the JSW Group, among others.

Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani announced the expansion of Udupi Power Corp. Ltd, which it acquired from Lanco Infratech Ltd in April 2015.

The capacity of the plant will be increased from the existing 1,200 megawatts to 1,800 megawatts at a cost of 11,500 crore, he said.

This will generate 600 jobs and make it the single largest private power plant in Karnataka, Adani added.

Besides this, Adani said he will also invest 7,000 crore for a 1,000 megawatts solar power plant and 2,000 crore for the development of a port in the North Canara district.

Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said he would invest 2,000 crore in the near future in the state.

The investment, he said, will be in three areas—telecom, apparel and retail.

Chairman and managing director of JSW Group Sajjan Jindal said the group had invested 60,000 crore till date in the state and was looking to invest 35,000 crore in the next 3-4 years.

German auto components maker Bosch promised investments of 1,000 crore in Karnataka this year,

To be sure, these announcements are non-binding commitments; yet, the announcements come as a shot in the arm for a state that is expecting to receive at least 1 trillion in pledges at the three-day investors meet.

“Karnataka is a $120 billion economy. Let us make it a $700 billion economy by 2035. If India aspires to grow at 9%, let us aspire for Karnataka to grow at 10%," state chief minister Siddaramaiah said on Wednesday. “We rank as the state with the second highest foreign direct investment in India. We have cleared more than 500 projects worth over $20 billion," he claimed. “Since we assumed office, we have received foreign direct investment worth $5.2 billion."

The greatest challenge before Karnataka, given its natural advantages over other states such as “first-rate human resource", will be to grow 2-3% ahead of India’s gross domestic product, finance minister Arun Jaitley said at the opening ceremony on Wednesday.

Jaitley lauded the competition between Indian states in attracting investments, and said that the federal nature of the republic should not be an obstacle in attracting global investors, especially at times when economies across the globe continue to be “unpredictable and volatile".

“In a challenging world, we have become a country of competitive federalism (from cooperative federalism), where each state is competing with the others to attract investments," he said.

Leading industrialists Ratan Tata, Azim Premji and Anil Ambani attended the event.

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