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Why would anybody want to invest in Karnataka, Mr CM?

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Economy
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will  soon go on a business tour to the United States (US) to showcase Karnataka as a preferred destination for investment soon, IT/ BT Minister S R Patil said on Wednesday. - - - - Maintaining that Karnataka offers the best atmosphere for investment in various sectors including mining, education, science and technology, aerospace and automobile, he said, “The state government would offer special incentives to those investors who would choose Tier II cities,” he said.
 
For the full text of the report in the New Indian Express, click here.
 
Actually, how serious can the CM be, when he projects Karnataka as an investment destination? Let's see how the state fares in three basic infrastructure areas, to begin with.
 
1) Power: in June 2010, when Karnataka organised the GIM (Global Investment Meet), I had written about the dismal power scenario in the state (check here). The situation has only worsened since then. So, those wanting to set up any industry/ business here, also need to plan for setting up their own power generating plants, coal/ fuel linkages thereof, etc. 
 
What's even more frightening is the prospect of your getting electrocuted on the footpaths of Bangalore, with BESCOM just not bothering to carry out any maintenance work on the transformers and other electrical equipment, installed right across your way, it being totally broke (check here). 
 
Well, if you survive electrocution on footpaths, there are of course the various hazards, obstructions, encroachments, etc, on the footpaths, that can get you, with the BBMP just not bothering to rectify them (or just doing some cosmetic jobs, wherever undertaken), even with the courts coming down heavily on them - check this
 
2) Water: When an earlier Dy Commissioner of Mysore found that, even with Cauvery and Kabini flowing by the city, the citizens were starved for water, he engaged the services of JUSCO (a TATA company) to upgrade the distribution system. To ensure citizen participation in the process, he engaged with the foremost civil society group in the city, viz the highly respected Mysore Grahakara Parishad (MGP). Realising that their well-entrenched vested interests were going to be undermined, the powerful "water mafia" got into the act, and set up a process of systematic sabotage of the scheme. Resulting from it all, at the end of the six-year contract period, the job remains incomplete, and the scheme, that could have been a model for all cities to emulate, stands discredited, much to the delight of the mafia, that's poised to take charge all over again. All the pleadings by the MGP and others to the powers that be, to salvage the situation, remain unheeded, so far - check here
 
So, all who want to invest in the state, please also make their own arrangements for their water needs, whether industrial or for drinking.
 
3) Public transport: The much talked about Namma Metro is taking shape, alright. But, given the size of the work, the progress is slow, and, to reach the levels of London, New York, Paris or even Delhi, it is going to take ages, ie if the agencies involved have not gone bust by then, considering the costs involved. 
 
And, the universally applauded Namma Railu (Commuter Rail) scheme, which could de-congest the city in the most cost-effective and fast way, doesn't even appear to have acquired the slightest bit of the CM's mind-space, yet.
 
Meanwhile, the only other form of public transport, in a city like Bengaluru, is the bus services provided by the government-owned monopoly, viz the BMTC. But, because of its serious capacity constraints, it can hardly cater to some 40% of the trips made by the citizens, leading to huge dependency on individualised forms of transport - cars and two-wheelers - this, in turn, leading to near grid-lock scenario, everyday, starting from just outside your gate. And, even with the Central government poised to bring in legislation allowing for reputed private players coming into bus operations, Namma sarkara doesn't appear prepared to entertain them - check here. Even worse, the government does everything possible to kill the private operators, who have been providing fairly decent services in Mangalore - Udupi, Hubli-Dharwar, and a few other areas, which, luckily for the people there, had escaped the original clamp down - check this.
 
As such, you may have the fanciest of cars to take you around. But, be prepared to spend half (if not more) of your working life stuck in traffic. 
 
Beyond these, you have: 
 
Administrative language issue: All government notifications are now issued in Kannada only (check here). If you so wish, you may ask for an English translation - but, it's still only a translation. As such, if there's a dispute on any matter, and it goes to court, the Kannada document will be the ultimate reference point. This can become quite tricky, particularly when you are dealing with technical issues in this vastly globalised world. This remains so inspite of English being an official language of the state. A distinction has been made by terming Kannada as the administrative language. And, progressively, all communication is happening only in Kannada; likewise information on web-sites too. Further, it is "Kuvempu" level of Kannada (a level higher than even Rajnath Singh-ji's Sanskritised Hindi); so, a passing knowledge will not take you far - not even with the bus conductor, or auto driver, who have begun to up their chauvinistic outlook, buoyed by the government's own outlook. 
 
Besides, asking for a translation does not necessarily mean that you'll get it. If you persist with it, you'll be told it's a "sensitive matter"; but, if you "co-operate" (meaning - don't talk about it), we can "try and help you". 
 
So, don't be fooled by the government inviting Mary Kom to settle down in Bengaluru (When last heard, she had apparently given up the crash course in Shudh Kannada, she was pursuing with a Shastrigalu in Shivmogga, and decided to continue in Manipur and set up a boxing academy there). Moodalu, Mary Kom amma atra Shastri-avara pathae kaelkolli. 
 
Then, of course, we have our waste management problem, stinking storm-water drains problem - you name it, it's all there. 
 
But, of course, we have the God given (not sure, why he has not withdrawn it yet) air-conditioned climate for most part of the year. But, if you want to get the benefit of it, say after 6.30PM, you'll first have to figure out how to keep the mosquito's at bay. The swanky clubs, of which there are a fair number in the cities, and where you can possibly get a Corporate membership, manage it all fairly well. So, if you choose to go there to drown your woes, over a peg or two, make sure you or your associates have not rubbed the officialdom (even if over totally unconnected issues) the wrong way, failing which they will find ways to make life difficult for you, apart from denying you your peg. 
 
Inspite of all of these, there are the Narayana Murthy's, Azim Premji's, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw's, and lately the Bansal's (of Flipkart fame) not just surviving, but thriving too. So, don't be deterred, dear friends - the Indian entrepreneur is intrepid enough to more than "solpa adjust maadi" in all of these situations. 
 
Muralidhar Rao

 

Comments

murali772's picture

couldn't have put it better

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A friend responded as below, through a personal mail:

You are absolutely right. Nothing on the ground has changed in the last two years for anyone to be enthused for investment. The one dominant issue since the formation of this Govt. has been whether or not Mr. Parameshwar should be taken into the Cabinet as Dy. C.M. All else are peripheral matters, occasionally spurred for action by the High Court. People are fooled by many "Bhagya " schemes , the latest is "Danta" Bhagya !
 
 
Muralidhar Rao
amithpallavoor's picture

I have found someone who

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I have found someone who echoes my views and has no fear. I get frequently abused by insouciant, insenstive, irrational and insecure citizens when I point out these facts to them. The only issues that gets them agitated are Kanndatva and Hindutva.

Bangalore is sitting on a ticking time bomb as regards the water and garbage issues. Is Siddu aware of the issues plaguing Bangalore? If he is then let him do the following:

(1) Announce a rejuvenation program of Arkvathy river supplemented with lake revival across the length and breadth of Bangalore.

(2) Immediate sanction of funds for Namma Railu with the development of Chikkballapur, Doddabbalpur, and other commuter towns. Follow up with the rail board on the SPV for the same. He could do well to seek an appointment with Mr. Prabhu instead of merely going to Delhi and kowtowing to Madam. 

(3) Decentralized garbage management with more power to BBMP to penalize citizens who don't segregate garbage at source!

(4) Crack the whip as far as Namma Metro is concerned

(5) Get cracking with BMTC, privatise the parastatal through an IPO if you can't open the sector for competition. I have lost count of the number of times I have complained to BMTC in the last one year. RTI queries posted in English elicit a response in Kannada. Is this pride or chauvinism? In most cases, responses take their own time to come. 

(5) Last but not the least don't let the dirty water from Bangalore flow into Vrishabhavathy river!

(6) Look to achieve decentralized growth in Karnataka- Autombile corridors in Belgaum and Hubli, Manufacturing Hubs in Kolar and Tumkur, Financial Districts in Mangalore, Manipal and Udupi. Move out low end garment manufacturing to Tumkur and Chikkaballapur from Bangalore. 

All this seems like a pipe dream though! 

 

 

 

amithpallavoor's picture

By the way do our politicians

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By the way do our politicians realize that Karnataka as a state has immense potential to become the next tourism hub?

Is scuba diving still banned in Karnataka? Wake up Sid!

 

murali772's picture

relevant exchanges

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Exchanges with a senior bureaucrat on my posting the link to this blog on his twitter handle:
 
SB: No idea. You should ask those who invested almost $2 billion in IT sector in 2013-14. They must have some good reasons, right?
Me: So, would you then say the issues listed by me are are no issues at all?
SB: No. I'd say some are true. Some are exaggerated. But, fact remains investment happens issues or no issues :)))
Me: Fair enough that you are not denying these issues exist. May be we differ on how serious they are. Thanks for response.
SB: Happy new year. 
Me: Wish you the same, Sir
Muralidhar Rao
srinidhi's picture

get out of baghya schemes..

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Its high time the state govt exits the bhagya schemes and does something substantial for the job sector..

and the job sector cannot grow without infra..hence efficient planning and execution of infra projects are a must for any kind of progress!

amithpallavoor's picture

They have launched low cost

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They have launched low cost mineral water under the MSIL Brand Name and that is being touted as an achievement. Canteens are on the way along the lines of Amma Canteen if reports are to be believed.

I am waiting for the day when they would announce Bhanuvarada Badaootada Bhagya! I love my Naati Kozhi and Mudde.

Pun intended.

 

 

murali772's picture

Bhagya-raaj

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From Anna Bhagya to Bachchilu Bhagya, chief minister Siddaramaiah has been rolling out populist schemes one after another, putting severe stress on public finances. This, despite the fact that the state's revenue collection has taken a major hit this fiscal and adversely impacted construction projects, infrastructure and road works. - - - As a result of more populist measures, resource mobilization has taken a hit, raising doubts over the government's ability to foot the bill for its pop ulist schemes and programmes.``It's expected to get worse with dipping revenue and more populist schemes planned ahead of panchayat elections,'' said an official in the finance department.  - - - -The CM recently met officials of commercial tax, transport, excise and stamps and registration departments to put pressure on them to meet the Rs 14,500 crore target this fiscal. He reportedly said their promotions would be directly linked to performance. Since then, the commercial tax department has been going all out to meet the target, causing resentment among businessmen.
 
For the full text in the ToI, click here
 
Bhagya, bhagya and more bhagya. In the process, the ESCOMs' dues of over Rs 6000 cr against farmer subsidy account, farmers' dues from sugar mills, APMC's, etc etc, all remain unpaid, these in turn having their deleterious effects on the various aspects of the state's economy as a whole. In addition now is the letting loose of the inspector raaj on businesses.
 
Ages ago, we have heard songs like "aamdani adthanni, gharchao rupayya", and their local equivalents, advocating prudence in financial matters. Siddaramaiah avaru apparently can't bother with all that, and has taken pseudo-Socialism to quite its height, even as most other states have begun to change their approaches.
 
The state is plainly headed towards bankruptcy. 
 
Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

bhagya alla swami idu; idu shaapa

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Energy Minister D K Shivakumar told the Council that the government would not insist that farmers install meters for their irrigation pump sets. He, however, said electricity supply companies (ESCOMS) are ready to supply 24/7 power to those who are ready to pay for it. Replying to BJP’s G S Nyamagouda, Shivakumar said Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission has told ESCOMs to ensure that all IP sets have meters to determine the exact quantum of electricity being used for agriculture. He said the government has decided to bear the installation cost of the meters. - - - “The response from farmers is poor as they have apprehensions that the ESCOMS would stop free supply of power later.”  He said that on a conservative estimate, the agriculture sector consumed 39 per cent of the total electricity supplied in the state.
 
For the full text of the report in the New Indian Express, click here.
 
Essentially, the farmer lobby is holding the state to ransom for "Niranthara Vidyut-shakti Bhagya", and the government is happy to allow that in its pursuit of vote bank politics. In the process, the entire power sector economy of the state is in doldrums (just one facet of which is seen here), apart from the lousy service quality that it engenders, including to the farmers. As such, rather than any bhagya, it has turned out to be a "shaapa".
 
And, this is true of almost all of the government's bhagya schemes. As such, whereas the state's economy should have been flourishing, riding on the phenomenal strength of its IT sector (where the state can't interfere enough to cause much harm), it is mostly languishing, impoverishing the aam aadmi at the receiving end, the most, in the process. One wonders when we'll get "moksha", if we get it at all. 
 
Muralidhar Rao
srinidhi's picture

mixed thoughts..

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Current scenario which I have personally experienced is that farmers have to get out of bed at unearthly hours..1AM..types everyday to switch on the pumps in the farms because there no 3 phase power during the day..let alone having any power at all..

The power situation is pathetic in the rural places..hence there is a need to make arrangements accordingly for them..

Its another matter that they need to start paying for the power they use..I would say, that part can be subsidized to a great extent..but not made free..

amithpallavoor's picture

State of Airports in KA

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State of Airports in Karnataka

Only two airports in Karnataka are functional. Most of the airports are defunct or function for a few months in a year. The Hubli airport does not function when Belgaum functions and vice versa. The civil aviation infrastructure has not been given a serious thought by successive governments.

My RTI query on Mandakalli Airport yielded this response:

(1) To meet the expansion proposal: AAI has projected 371 acres of additional land to State Government out of which 168 acres is yet to be handed over. The diversion of NH 212 is also necessary to facilitate the runway extension. The diversion of NH-212 is to be taken up by the State Govt. AAI will take up the development of the Airport on the availability of requested land. 
(2) Airlines plan their schedule as per market demand, company policy and financial viability. 
Air connectivity to and from Mysore Airport by starting scheduled operations is under the purview of Ministry of Civil Aviation. (MoCA) The state government needs to get its act together otherwise, we are looking at a very bleak future.

 

murali772's picture

killing the goose that lays the golden egg

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On Saturday, at the annual general meeting of the Bangalore Chamber of Industry & Commerce (BCIC), Berns (Steffen Berns, president of the Bosch Group in India) noted that it took Bosch 29 touchpoints and 19 months to get approvals for electricity for two of its office buildings. Bosch is in the midst of moving its factory in Bengaluru to Bidadi, about 35 km from Bengaluru. Though phase 1 of plant construction is over, electricity connections are yet to come. Berns indicated that if the current problems continue, Bosch may make its future investments outside Karnataka.

For the full text of the report in the ToI, click here.

The report quotes not just Berns, but even other well known industrialists talking in similar vein. And, this is not the first time. Also, this is even as Mr Chandrababu Naidu is rolling out the red carpet for them all to drive into his state, just some 25km from the KIAL.

All the same, if the industry is staying on (and even expanding) in Bengaluru (but not Karnataka), it is largely on account of the rich human resources available in the city, as also the weather, neither of which the government can take credit for. And, the government's complacency is inevitably leading to the death of the goose that has been laying the golden eggs for it all these years.

Muralidhar Rao
srinidhi's picture

29 touchpoints means 29

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29 touchpoints means 29 places which would have demanded some form of bribe for the work..hes too dignified to mention that part and just stops short with the number of touchpoints..

I think its high time the state govt goes the central govt way for permissions..or else the city/state will perish while the politicians lay sqabbling about doling out bhagya schemes..

murali772's picture

While Karnataka's Nero's fiddle, others move on

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For Nasscom chairman BVR Mohan Reddy, the city's affordable infrastructure has always been its biggest draw. "Comparison of convenience versus costs puts Hyderabad far ahead of any other city in India. Even during the peak of summer, power availability is not under stress," Reddy explains.

For the full text of the report in the ToI, click here

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make In India program has received a big boost with global major Foxconn announcing plans to invest in the country. The biggest project announced by the Taiwanese firm was the one to invest $ 5 billion over five years in Maharashtra. Another large smartphone facility is also to be set up in Andhra Pradesh. This is a major breakthrough as Foxconn, which employees around 1.3 million employees across the world with the majority of them in China, is the leading contract manufacturer for a host of global brands like Apple, Samsung, HP, Dell and others.

For the full text of this blog in the ToI, click here.

But even as arguments rage in New Delhi on the pros and cons of the 2013 act, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu has found a way round the problem to build a new capital city on 34,000 acres of farmland. His strategy has been to make all farmers stakeholders in the new capital, so that they voluntarily “pool” their land with the city development agency. Once the city is developed in a decade, they will get back almost 30% of their pooled land as ultra-expensive city land. This enables them to see the new city as a road to prosperity, not deprivation (as happened in Singur or POSCO’s mining area in Odisha).

For the full text of this blog, by Swaminathan S Aiyar, in the ToI, click here.

Even as that's the scene in the progressive neighbouring states, the scenario in Namma Karnataka is exemplified by the outburst by Mr Steffen Berns, president of the Bosch Group in India (check my post of 30th June, by scrolling above), most uncharacteristic for a country business head, plainly out of total frustration over the way things are.

Now, while Mr RV Deshpande, as the newly appointed Large and medium scale industries minister, can possibly effect some damage control, known as he is to be comparatively dynamic, what can even he do about the state's pathetic power scenario, with even the capital city facing frequent outages, even during the middle of the monsoon season. The reforms had been splelt out ages ago (more or less as outlined here), but government after government has been only milking the power sector to a level where it's on the verge of near collapse today.

One wonders if there's any salvation at all for the state. 

Muralidhar Rao
srinidhi's picture

incompetent bunch..

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Incompetent is the word..all hell broke loose when KMS and Pai talked about Patil when he was announced the IT minister..

And now after many months and nothing significant positive step to claim in the IT sector investments, we have the secretary shunted out because of tenders that minister allowed illegally!

Whereas, when we all thought about the T state problems/behaviour of strikes and hartals bringing an end to Hyd, they seem to have come back big way now..in a planned strategy!

..and their metro is also on-time too..thanks to the PPP mode!

murali772's picture

let's first get our basic infrastructure right, Mr Minister!

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In keeping with its plans to develop Bengaluru as a global start-up capital, the state government on Friday assured it would soon unveil a start-up policy that would be a model for the world. - - - The assurance came at an interaction that AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi had with CEOs of start-ups in the presence of Industries Minister R V Deshpande and IT-BT Minister S R Patil. - - - Deshpande told reporters after the interaction that heads of around 15 to 16 start-ups presented a slew of suggestions to create the best ecosystem for nurturing start-ups. “We have formed a start-up council. We will incorporate their suggestions in the new policy It would the best and a model for the world,” Deshpande said.

For the full text of the report in the New Indian Express, click here.

The prospects are just phenomenal, quite as the following excerpts from a recent blog by Prof Vivek Wadhwa, in the ToI (click here to read the full text), has also pointed out - "the biggest opportunities are actually at home. India added nearly 150 million internet connections via smartphones in 2014 and is the fastest-growing market in the world. By the end of this decade, virtually all of India will be online. This will allow it to leapfrog into the latest technologies and transform itself".

But, for all of that, we first need to get our basic infrastructure - efficient and reliable power supply, water supply, public transport, to begin with - in place. And, when it's well known that the government has serious capacity limitations in all of these areas, and simultaneously reputed private players have shown themselves to be capable of meeting the challenges, whatever, effectively, shouldn't we be asking the government to facilitate their take over of these functions, and concentrate its efforts on just regulation (and control, where essential)? Once that's done, the rest will follow automatically; and, there's no time to lose!

Well, that's what these two petitions are about - this on power supply, and this on public bus transport services. Do raise the demand through your endorsements.
 

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

Come invest in Karnataka; in your captive power plant also

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Chief minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday attempted to convince investors to invest in Karnataka, pointing to the plethora of educational institutions and the large number of R&D establishments present in Bengaluru.

For the full text of the report in the New Indian Express, click here.

In the next page of the same paper, is a report (click here to read the full text) on the power supply scenario, the salient excerpts reading as below:

Faced with a severe power shortage, the State Energy Ministry is considering drastic steps to tide over the crisis.

As per a proposal, while Bengalureans will continue to face peak-hour power shutdown till January, the districts that come under the purview of the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) are likely to get seven hours of three-phase power on alternate days.


Perhaps the CM should also suggest to the investors to set up captive power plants too.
 

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

parliamentary secretary bhagya

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And, as if all of the additional burden that the investors (as also, the ordinary tax payers - meaning, you and me) have to shoulder were not enough, here comes another, to provide for the "parliamentary secretary bhagya" that namma CM avaru has now instituted, going by the following excerpts from another New Indian Express report (full text accessible here)

Throwing austerity to the winds, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah named 10 parliamentary secretaries on Thursday. This is expected to burden the state exchequer by about Rs 2.70 crore per year since they would be entitled to salaries and perks on par with ministers of state.

With most parts of the state still reeling under the impact of drought, the chief minister appointed nine MLAs and one MLC as parliamentary secretaries. They would assist the chief minister in discharging his official duties.


Where is the end to all of this profligacy, at the cost of the tax payer?
 

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

hype vs truth

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This is 'Namma governmentu''s hype in connection with "INVEST KARNATAKA 2016" jamboree to be held between 3rd and 5th Feb in Bengaluru. However, the reality, specifically on the power front, is what is seen in the following excerpts from a New Indian Express report ( full text may be accessed here - emphasis has been added by me):

On December 30 last year, Energy Minister D K Shivakumar announced that the state will get uninterrupted power from the start of the new year. But, on the ground, the power situation has remained grim, with rural areas being the worst affected.

The situation on the other fronts too is no better than what it was when similar jamborees were held earlier too (check the opening post). On top of it all, apparently, the CM turned up 90 minutes late to a function, connected with the jamboree, last Wednesday, keeping a galaxy of CEOs and foreign Consuls cooling their heels.

Meanwhile, the industrialists, who have remained invested in the state from long, we hear are seriously lookig around.

Muralidhar Rao
Sanjeev's picture

Corporate honchos want govt to act on poor infra

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Hey, you all talk about Bengaluru as silicon valley with necessary infrastructure. If that will have to go with such a status how do you guys deal with these massive infrastructure problems?’’

“Instead of navigating traffic (from Leela Palace to a company on ORR) and spending so much time on road, I might go to an office in Hawaii from California,” covering a distance of 4,000 km by flight.”

These were some of the telling comments from top US executives of major tech companies on the ORR and Whitefield when their Indian counterparts submitted expansion plans for their respective firms in the City.

Top executives nowadays are discussing more about challenges to get expansion approval and productivity concerns than focussing on their core work.

 “Earlier, top executives were focussed on their work and hardly communicated with each other. In the last few months, the centre of discussion is around this, says Vinod Chandra, General Manager and Vice president, Brocade India.

“Why do we put in more staff in Bengaluru. Why can’t we move to other cities or another country. Those are typical normal conversation nowadays,’’ says Sarv Sarvanan, Managing Director EMC Corporation

India. “This is being talked about more. Decision may not happen now.
But if things doesn’t move fast, let’s say in six months; otherwise, Bengaluru’s brand built over the years will slide. Bengaluru brand is under challenge now. Five years of inaction is enough to mess up the brand,’’ he said.

Another top executive who didn’t wish to be named said: “Bengaluru is seen as a silicon valley of India. People abroad think it is a great place. They come here and see this. Many are puzzled why there is no road and ask: how you deal with it. It doesn’t go with the silicon valley status.”

“We can salvage if the government hasten to execute projects. The good thing is that the government is engaging with the corporate,’’ Sarvanan said expressing the need for a proper world class ring road that goes with the status of silicon valley. Even tire-II cities in China have great infrastructure in place, points. 

However, there has been no visible progress on the ground though the government has been listening to the IT companies. “They have plans. We have had a couple of rounds of good discussion. But it is time to execute. Right now it is on paper. We don’t know what their challenges are. Making visible progress is more important to us to go back (executives abroad) and showcase that the government is acting,’’ Sarvanan said.

Ram Narayanan, General Manager of eBay Product Development Center, India, was critical of the government and said that flyovers designed to decongest roads have not be built for some purpose or the other and service roads were highly inadequate.

“We cannot wait for 20 years for Metro to come. Government is taking short-term measures.  eBay is not looking to move out of Bengaluru; but it certainly is a question of future growth when senior executives visit here and ask do you really want to invest in here,”  Naryanan pointed explaining a possible situation he might face if there is no improvement on the ground.

http://www.deccanherald.c...

murali772's picture

NaMo unobstacles; Namma governmentu creates obstacles

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Known for his go-for-broke attitude, Kalanick (Uber's co-founder & CEO) said the idea of Uber came to him and his co-founder Garrett Camp when they were unable to hail a cab one night in Paris. "We wanted to get a ride in Paris but couldn't find a taxi. This led to his realization of a big market opportunity that has not been addressed for a long time," he said. "New York has had the same number of taxi licences for 60 years. The cab owners lobbied together and created artificial scarcity. Things got so bad that nobody else could get into the business. A driver had to pay almost $150 dollars a day to get a licence and drive a cab," he said by adding that his idea of Uber, thus, made sense to make things easier for both drivers and consumers.

For the full text of the report in ToI, click here.

So, you have had the mafia everywhere else too. But, new age entrepreneurship is disrupting them all. So, it's time "namma mafioso", who have been using every means to block the entry of Uber, Ola, ZipGo, etc (check here), too realised their time is over. One of the slogans, at the Start Up India event in Delhi, read "We unobstacle". And amongst many of NaMo's positive messages, one read "there are ways to close doors to new ideas; we want to open them".

It's also time "Namma governmentu" took note of the changed language, as well as attitude.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

Where is the "mitra"-ship of Udyog, Mr CM?

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Mooting a shift in archaic labour laws, the government is all set to allow women to work night shifts, currently limited to those employed with the IT, IT-enabled services and hospice sectors. This will mean more jobs for women in manufacturing, textile and service sectors in Karnataka.

The move is part of the government's continued efforts at improving World Bank's ranking in ease of doing business across Indian states. Karnataka is presently ranked ninth.

- - - "This will encourage investors, especially those in manufacturing, textile and service sectors, to set up shops and facilitate more job opportunities for women,'' said a senior official at Karnataka Udyog Mitra.

- - - The proposed amendment will, however, put the onus of safety and security of women employees on the employer by making it mandatory for them to ensure occupational safety and health. "There has to be adequate protection from sexual harassment and safe transportation from the factory to the doorstep,'' said an official. Night duty for women will also be made voluntary, with written consent on record, he added.

KN Raju, an officer-bearer of the state small-scale industries association said: "This was the need of the hour, especially with the percentage of educated and working women increasing by the day. It will create job opportunities and also improve their working conditions."


For the full text of the report in the ToI, click here.

Now, how is the SSI sector, which supposedly is the targeted beneficiary of this move, going to be able to afford "safe factory to the doorstep transportation", when they are largely seen to be hard put to even afford the minimum wages? That's where efficient and reliable public bus transport needs to come in. But, the current monopoly government service provider, viz BMTC, has plainly washed its hands off the job, giving various excuses (check here), even as private players are waiting to grab the opportunity.

In such a scenario, when the government continues to perpetuate the monopoly, using artificialities like the Contract Carriage Act, how can it claim to be marking any improvement in "ease of doing business"? Where is the "mitra"-ship of Udyog? Also, when it's reviewing its stance on the archaic labour laws, why is it holding onto the even more archaic "Contract Carriage Act"?

Muralidhar Rao
amithpallavoor's picture

We have seen the current

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We have seen the current regime handle every manufacturing investment that comes into the state with a great deal of highhandedness and insouciance. Triumph, Hero, Asian Paints are great examples where GOK bungled. I suppose the government does not believe in decentralized economic growth and diversification in terms of contribution from various sectors. 
Bombay Rayon in Doddaballapur closed down because of the poor industrial climate. They were also frustrated with the fact that GOK was willing to do nothing about it. Toyota, Bosch and Marcopolo have also faced the issue of poor industrial climate. 70% of auto ancillary units in Belgaum are in serious trouble. Does Mr. Deshpande/ Siddhu understand the implications of all this?

amithpallavoor's picture

Well done, Mr. Siddaramiah!

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Well done, Mr. Siddaramiah! Kudos to Mr. Deshpande!

http://www.deccanherald.c...

murali772's picture

Has the government given up?

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Those who have been watching Karnataka’s administration from close quarters for some time would not in the least have been surprised that the state has abysmally slipped from the 9th to 13th position in the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ ratings this year. The rankings, done by the Centre’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotions in collaboration with the World Bank and based on a comparative analysis of specific business reforms measures undertaken by various states and Union territories, have found Karnataka woefully falling short in many respects. When other states are wooing investors aggressively and laying red carpet for them, Karnataka continues to be highly bureaucratic in its approach. Its so-called single window agency for various clearances is nothing but a sham. Even when attractive offers come knocking on its doors, decisions are never taken quickly.

These are the excerpts from the opening para in the Deccan Herald report (emphasis added by me), accessible here.

All of this is in addition to the following excerpts from The Quint report on Mercer's Quality of Living rankings 2017 (full text accessible here), published a few days back:

Amongst Indian cities, Mumbai is ranked the highest at 141, followed by Kolkata (149) and Pune (151). Bengaluru is rated the lowest, amongst the surveyed Indian cities, ranked at 177.

What's required has been listed in the opening post of this blog, as also here (much earlier), and elsewhere too; but alas, all to no avail. This is even as many other states are making tremendous progress, guided by the largely progressive Modi sarkar at the Centre. Looks quite like the Congress government in the state has more or less given up.

Muralidhar Rao

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