IT, BT firms flock to Karnataka to invest Rs.124 bn

Bangalore, June 1 (IANS) As many as 55 companies have proposed to

invest over Rs.12,353 crore (Rs.124 billion) in Karnataka, India’s knowledge hub and a favourite destination of IT and biotechnology (BT) sectors.

‘We have received investment proposals worth Rs.11,000 crore from IT firms and Rs.1,353 crore from biotech firms. Among them are Infosys, Wirpo, TCS and Tata Elxsi,’ state IT and BT minister K. Subramanya Naidu told reporters here Tuesday.

The IT bellwethers, which are already present in the state, are expanding their operations with additional software development centres in this tech hub.

The state government will enter into memoranda of understanding with 55 IT and BT firms at the Global Investors Meet (GIM 2010) June 3 to set up operations in the proposed Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR) at Devanahalli near the Bangalore international airport.

‘Many developers have come forward to set up IT parks in the ITIR, which will be 2,200 acres in the first phase. We hope to create three million direct and indirect jobs in the region in two phases,’ Naidu said.

The state government will constitute a management board to govern the ITIR and the state empowered committee under the chairmanship of the chief minister will be the apex body on all matters related to the ambitious project.

The project report on ITIR, prepared by global consulting firm Deloitte, is awaiting approval from the central government.

‘The region will have an integrated township with modern amenities, especially road and metro rail connectivity to ferry people faster between the city and Devanahalli, about 35-40 km away,’ Naidu said.

To decongest Bangalore and promote tier-2 and tier-3 cities across the state, the government is setting up the first special economic zone (SEZ) for IT at Shimoga in central Karnataka, about 270 km from here.

‘The US-based Xchanging Technology Services Ltd has applied for land (six acres) to set up its operations in the proposed IT SEZ at Shimoga,’ Naidu said.

‘Makado Energy and Silver Gem Energy Diodes Ltd will be the first two units to be set up under the semicon policy. The US-based leading semicon firm Applied Materials, which has a subsidiary in India, has evinced interest in setting up its facility in the state,’ Naidu said.

A Characterisation Lab, which deals with nanotechnology, will be set up at Orchid Tech Space under the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) in the electronics city on the outskirts of Bangalore.

To encourage entrepreneurs and promote start-ups, the state government has decided to allot Rs.25 crore to its venture firm — Kitven (Karnataka Ventures) fund.

‘We are also setting up a fund with a seed capital of Rs.10 crore to encourage research and development (R&D) activities in the semiconductor sector,’ Naidu added.

— Indo-Asian News Service


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