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Karnataka's chamber draws action plan to revive economy

Karnataka's apex industry body Bangalore Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCIC) has drawn an action plan to revive the state's sagging economy with a strategy on kick-starting the manufacturing sector.

"The 12-point action plan is aimed at reviving the state's economy by kick-starting the infrastructure projects held up for various reasons and facilitating the manufacturing sector's growth," BCIC president M. Lakshminarayanan told reporters here Monday.

The chambers has submitted the action plan as an 'economic agenda" for the new Congress government in the state that took charge under Chief Minister Siddaramaiah a week ago.

"The chief minister assured us to look into our agenda and call soon for an official meeting to prioritise and implement the action plan for restoring the high growth with investments that will create thousands of jobs over the next five years," Lakshminarayanan said.

Elaborating on the strategy to revive the manufacturing sector whose growth stagnated during the last couple of years owing to political instability in the state and bureaucratic inaction, he said pressure on agriculture and services sector had necessitated a renewed focus on manufacturing for reviving the state's economy and employment generation.

"The new government will have to focus on creation of world class infrastructure, skill development, urban renewal, revitalising the small and medium enterprises (SME) and strengthening governance and institutions," Lakshminarayanan said.

The action plan also calls for setting up agro and food processing parks and remove double taxation in the APMC Act.

"Instead of developing an eight-lane road connecting Bidar in the northern region to Chamarajanagar in the southern region of the state, as envisaged in the election manifesto of the ruling party, we have suggested that the state government should leverage the proposed Mumbai-Bangalore corridor, proposed by the central government," the agenda observed.

The state should develop sector-specific industrial zones along the corridor and secondary corridors connecting other parts of the state, to foster equitable, regional development, generate employment and help to decongest a choked Bangalore.

"There is an urgent need for a dedicated minister to oversee Bangalore's infrastructure, including roads, power, water supply, waste management and pollution, as the existing amenities are unable to meet the growing needs of its 10-million citiezens," the chamber noted.

The action plan urged the new government to develop tier-II cities so as to ease pressure on Bangalore.

Expansion or revival of existing industries, facilitating job creation and industry friendly labour laws are other issues highlighted in the agenda for the new government.