Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Bengaluru - State woos NRI investments

State woos NRI investments
24 Jun 2009, 0457 hrs IST, TNN

BANGALORE: ‘Knowledge City’ holds a tremendous allure to prospective investors in Karnataka, given its hi-tech image. Though ambitious proposals bit
the dust a couple of years ago, a group of NRIs led by US-based Dr Girish has coming forward to set up a Knowledge City at an investment of nearly Rs 10,000 crore in Bangalore.

Chief minister B S Yeddyurappa during a meeting of the NRI committee, which he heads, expressed interest in the venture. It is likely that the government might underwrite the project to the tune of 20% of the cost. The proposed Knowledge City will consist of a hospital, education institutions, university and other facilities.

Besides, General Electric, the $200-billion American MNC, may enter into an agreement with the state government in health, energy, renewable energy and bio-mass. The company already has a considerable presence in the city with its medical systems business as well as its global research centre here. GE will invest in energy sector, renewable energy and impart knowledge in enhancing power production.

“A large amount of power is wasted during transmission. GE has expertise in reducing transmission losses. To have a first-hand insight into the functioning of the company, Yeddyurappa has agreed to visit GE’s facilities here,’’ Ganesh Karnik, vice-chairman of the NRI Cell, told reporters here on Tuesday. In addition, CSQR, a Canadian company has also shown interest in setting up a technology and management institute.

Spelling out the objectives of the cell, Karnik said the cell has created a database of 700 NRIs having roots in Karnataka, with many of them coming forward to invest in knowledge and technology-based units here. “This cell acts as a facilitator for the investors. As a part of our efforts, the CM has directed all departments to appoint a nodal officer for speeding up investments. Let investors come to us; we will do the leg work,’’ Karnik said.

Suresh Srinivasaiah of S J Experts, based in New Jersey, will set up a large solar energy unit here. The government has nominated three coordinators to seek investment — industrialist BR Shetty for the Gulf, Neeraj Patil for the UK and other European countries, and Mahesh Nagarajaiah for the US.

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