Politicians get agenda for growth from industrialists

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growth agenda for Karnataka
Bangalore, April 20: Karnataka has always been industry-friendly state. However there are some infrastructure issues which hamper the growth. To give a picture of what the industry needs, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) has formulated suggestions for the political parties in Karnataka.

The 'Suggestions for Election Manifesto of Political Parties in Karnataka' contains a five-point growth agenda for Karnataka.

"This is an attempt to create consensus on economic issues to achieve double digit growth during the next decade," says J Crasta, co-chairman, Southern Regional Council of Assocham. Crasta said the next government in the State cannot neglect the small and medium enterprises (SME). If the government wants to achieve economic progress in the State, progress of SMEs is an imperative.

There are 25 lakh families who are employed in the SME sector and the government cannot overlook their welfare.
"How can you expect the private sector to give back to the state if the government does not want to invest in their infrastructure?" Crasta asked.

"Majority of multi national companies in Karnataka that started with a glory are now managing to merely keep themselves afloat. This is the result of not focusing on the industrial sector by the government," he said.
Its agenda touches political issues, infrastructure, agriculture, industry, services, tourism, education, health, telecommunication and special economic zones (SEZs).

With the fears of hung assembly and coalition government, the agenda says that "political stability within the State is a pre-requisite for growth and development of Karnataka."

"There is also the need to form stable and transparent policies, assuring protection to whistleblowers, strengthening the Lok Ayukta, addressing policing reforms, incentivize industries promoting women employees and floating a land acquisition and rehabilitation policy," the agenda says and sets task for the political class.

On infrastructure development, the industry organisation wants public private partnership (PPP) and cluster based approach for industrial growth and development.

The agenda touches sensitive subjects like tax rebates and incentives to private sector for investing in power and easy land acquisition for setting up industries.

On social sector the Assocham suggests enhancing research and development capabilities in the information technology (IT) sector, public healthcare facilities, education through sustained investment in schools, colleges and universities and a broadband infrastructure in semi-urban and rural areas.

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