Invest Karnataka 2015 postponed to Feb next: Minister

State Industries Minister R V DeshpandeBENGALURU: With Karnataka facing a drought, the state government has decided to postpone the much-publicized global investors meet, which was to be held in November, to February next year.

“Unfortunately, we have not seen in the last 44 years a drought as severe as we are seeing today. As many as 136 talukas have been declared drought-affected… So we thought it fit to have the global investors meet (Invest Karnataka 2015) on February 3, 4 and 5, 2016 instead of (this) November 23 to November 25,” State Industries Minister R V Deshpande said.

Another reason for postponing the meet is the power situation as the dams across the state are just 55 per cent full, and farmers and agricultural laborers are in distress, Deshpande said.

“Our hydel dependence is more, and our dams are just 55 per cent full, farmers and agriculture laborers are in distress, and also we are celebrating a low- profile Dasara this year…. so, we thought it is fit to hold the meet next year,” he said.

In spite of the change of dates, the government is hopeful of attracting larger investments that would help the state to grow and create jobs, Deshpande said.

He said it was unfortunate to postpone the big-ticket event because he had taken several steps to woo investors.

“I had a meeting with investors in Delhi. Our teams held several roadshows and also we addressed UK chamber some time back.”

The previous BJP government held two investors’ meets in June 2010 and 2012. It also conducted the Global Agribusiness and Food Processing Summit in 2011.

“We want the right kind of sentiments to prevail in the state when we hold the investors meet, and I believe the power and drought situation will improve in February next year,” Deshpande said.

The state plans to woo investors in various sectors such as manufacturing, agro and food processing, tourism and smart townships.

The focus countries for attracting investment included Japan, Taiwan, the Middle East, Germany, France, Sweden and Singapore.–PTI

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