karnataka: Karnataka: Better infrastructure is key to economic growth | Bengaluru News – Times of India

Karnataka has resources and human capital in plenty, but the state needs to focus on creating more infrastructure, especially in Bengaluru, to fast track industrial and economic development, say industry leaders.
Mohandas Pai, chairman of Aarin Capital, said the state government lacks the vision of its central counterpart, and needs a Niti Aayog of its own to plan for the 21st century. “Karnataka is the most prosperous state in India with 66% of the state GDP coming from services. It has adequate human capital. The state should focus on creating infrastructure and also focus on Bengaluru,” he said.
Pai had laid out a plan last year with the state government saying Karnataka would come out of the Covid-19 pandemic in a better shape than others if it focuses on improving infrastructure and introducing technology in the farm sector.
Karnataka, he said, also needs to narrow the economic gap between its northern and southern parts. Pai suggests picking up 20-30 small towns in the north which can become centres for industries, with good road connections with the rest of the state. “There should be a Suvarna Karnataka eightlane corridor connecting Bidar in the north to Bengaluru in the south, while also connecting the ports of Karwar and Mangaluru.”
Vikram Kirloskar, vice-chairman of Toyota Kirloskar Motor, also emphasised the need for better roads. “We need to get industries out of Bengaluru to other parts of the state and create the ecosystem for people to stay there,” he said.
Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, however, said the focus of investment should be Bengaluru as that is the economic powerhouse. “If you keep investing in rural Karnataka and ignore the capital, you are doing a disservice to the economy.” Bengaluru, she noted, is the hub for all IT, technology, biotech, defence and aerospace sectors.
The city administration, she said, is pathetic, with one BBMP trying to administer this massive city. It is important, she said, to have zonal administrations.

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Sagar Biswas

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