Small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in Karnataka will get 30 percent of the land in industrial estates for which 88,000 acres have been identified, state Industries Minister Murugesh R. Nirani said Tuesday.
"The Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) has identified 88,000 acres and issued final notification to acquire 36,000 acres of land for setting up industrial estates across the state. About 30 percent of the acquired land will be reserved for SMEs," Nirani told reporters here.
The state-run nodal agency has also acquired 225 acres of land near Bangalore to expand and form the Greater Peenya industrial estate, once considered as Asia’s largest industrial township.
“We will allow industry chambers to directly negotiate with farmers for acquiring the land to set up the new industrial townships. Farmers at Nelamangala on the outskirts of Bangalore have agreed to part with their lands at Rs.40 lakh per acre for the proposed Greater Peenya industrial estate,” Nirani said at a meeting with the Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (Kassia).
Refuting allegations by former prime minister and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) president H.D. Deve Gowda that the state government was forcefully acquiring 120,000 acres of farmlands across the state, Nirani said not even an acre was being acquired without the consent of farmers and landowners.
“As a senior politician and a former prime minister, Gowda should verify the facts before making such wild allegations because agriculture lands with two or three crops are exempted from acquisition for industries in the state. Even in other cases, no farmland is acquired without farmers consenting at the prevailing market rate,” Nirani asserted.
Noting that the state had received fresh investment proposals worth Rs.32,000 crore during the last 12 months, the minister said the proposals would be cleared this month at a meeting of the high-level clearance committee headed by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.
The fresh proposals include projects from two-wheeler manufacturers Hero Motors and Honda Motorcycle and Scooters India (HMSI), which are keen to set up their new plants in the state.
“Hero Motors sought land near Dharwad in north Karnataka and HMSI has identified land in Tumkur and Kolar districts in the southern region of the state,” Nirani said.
Of the 387 investment proposals that were signed with the state government during the Global Investors’ Meet (GIM) in June 2010, 27 projects have taken off at a combined investment of Rs.17,000 crore.
Among the proposals cleared, 224 projects are at various stages implementation and will be completed during the next two-three years as they need longer gestation period to commence operations. Some of them are in steel, cement and manufacturing sectors.
“We have also decided to take back the allotted land to companies, which fail to launch their projects in the next two years and a year extension will be given to those that have began the project but are unable to complete in the stipulated timeframe,” Nirani added.