Karnataka has potential to outpace India’s growth: Jaitley

Bengaluru, February 03, 2016: Unpredictability and volatility have become the new global norm, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said here on Wednesday.

Speaking after inaugurating Invest Karnataka 2016 – global investors meet, Jaitley said in such circumstances it is extremely important for India to emerge even stronger. It is here that States like Karnataka should come to the forefront.”

“India has caught the attention of investors across the world. Now it is time we respond in one voice and the Centre and State governments live up to their expectations,” he added.

Complimenting Karnataka for its various initiatives, Jaitley exhorted the State to register 2-3 per cent more than the country’s growth rate. Karnataka had a vast potential in terms of human resources besides the presence of a number of prestigious institutions and large manufacturing industries. “We need to exploit the opportunities available and contribute to the growth of the country as a whole.”

The Finance Minister said India was relatively unaffected by some of the factors which have caused the global crisis.

“Lower prices of oil, metals and commodities substantially suit us. It indirectly impacts us because it shrinks our exports, it makes our markets more volatile, and it makes our currency more volatile,” he said. “But compared to the rest of the world we are still on a much higher and stable footing,” he added.

Jaitley said the economy in India was witnessing ‘good times’ as States were vying with each other for investments. But some States are geographically disadvantaged and the Centre will intervene and help them get aid.

“This healthy competition has given us most positive signals. Investors are also very intelligent people. They analysis the best destinations to invest and States that have a consistent track record of clean administration, good governance, and easy availability of land and easier prospects of doing business will thrive. Karnataka is one such State and it will progress well.”

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said:

“Karnataka is a $120-billion economy. Let us make it a $700-billion economy by 2035. If India aspires to grow at 9 per cent, let us aspire for Karnataka to grow at 10 per cent. Each one of you seated here today, already have, or could have a stake, in Karnataka’s journey and indeed, in our country’s future.”

Urging the Union Finance Minister for more allocation in the Budget, the Chief Minister said: “I hope that Arun Jaitley will consider allocating more funds to Karnataka in the ensuing Budget to facilitate further growth.”

RV Deshpande, Karnataka’s Minister for Large and Medium-Scale Industries, said the State was not only the knowledge capital of the country but also of the world with R&D and innovation centres of more than 400 of the top Fortune 500 companies, and had the largest concentration of hi-tech workforce anywhere in the world. -BusinessLine