Sunday, July 29, 2007

Does Government cares for Belgaum

Concern over delay in holding IT Investors’ meet in Belgaum

From The Hindu 30 July 2007

IT Department for clubbing event with world Kannada meet

Belgaum: The delay in organising the exclusive IT Investors’ Meet in Belgaum has become a cause of concern for businessmen in particular and people of the district in general.

The decision to organise the event in Belgaum, which is being projected as the most favoured destination for future investment after Bangalore and Mysore in the State, was taken soon after the General Investors’ Meet here on March 8. The event then witnessed registration of investment proposals worth Rs. 810 crore from 108 companies in the State and from Maharashtra. These proposals projected employment opportunities to 12,000 people. The number of proposals went up to 156 with more companies registering themselves for launching their operations here.

Sources told The Hindu here on Sunday that the proposed IT Investors’ Meet was being delayed by the Department of Information Technology, Bangalore, as it favoured clubbing the event with the Vishwa Kannada Sammelan (world Kan nada meet) to be held here.

Though Minister for Kannada and Culture H.S. Mahadev Prasad had announced to hold the sammelan in Belgaum in the last week of September, a final decision on the date was yet to be taken. Once the date was finalised, the IT Department could decide on holding the investors’ meet, the sources said.

But people are apprehensive of the Government organising the sammelan in September when the coalition partners will be preoccupied with “transfer of power”.

Therefore, the IT Department should go ahead with the proposed IT investors’ meet instead of keeping the prospective investors waiting. Such an attitude would only send a wrong signal to investors and they might move away to Pune and Hyderabad, the sources said.

A senior official in the Department of Commerce and Industries said that the IT Department was keen on developing an IT Park in Belgaum and holding the investors’ meet at the earliest.

The Government had invited tenders to develop the park on 40 acres of land through the Karnataka State Small-Scale Industries Development Corporation. Though the initial response was not encouraging, there was still a month for submitting tenders. Some construction companies had visited the proposed site and many were in touch with the DIC. The IT Department would develop 109 acres of land more, the sources said.

The sources said the location of IT Park at Vaghwade was inconvenient as it was about 25 km from the Sambra airport. It would take about an hour to fly from Bangalore or Mumbai to Belgaum and almost the same time to reach the proposed IT park in the city. However, it would be convenient if the park was located near the airport, they added.

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