Karnataka Tops World Bank's Investment Climate List

The Hindu reports today:
The World Bank has developed a new Investment Climate Index to help identify the key challenges and bottlenecks to be overcome in attracting business investment. In a policy research working paper, World Bank analyst Guiseppe Iarossi ranks the investment climate in 16 Indian States, using data from a survey of 4,000 entrepreneurs in 2005. Karnataka tops the list, with Kerala a close second. Tamil Nadu comes in at ninth place, overtaken by Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Delhi.


Clangorous said...

Very Heartening to see Karnataka on top...At the same time whatever investments happen here should make sure that Kannada/Kannadiga/Karnataka are their prime motives for the overall progress. Hopefully Karnataka is not on top based on the migration friendliness compared to other states... More and More Kannadigas should make use of this and work towards the progress of their fellow Kannadigas...

Jai Veerupaksha said...

Such reports while being truthful are a dangerous trap for a state like Karnataka whose politicians also epitomise the nature of most of us Kannadigas.......A bit of praise or appreciation and we lose our consciousness and Jaagruthi and start playing to the tunes of these investors.

By the times the politicians wake up to the reality that it is the migrants who have benefitted at the expense of local Kannadigas and start raising a few voices, the same investors with the help of the elite media's support start saying how any regional or local policies will affect Karnataka's image as an investment destination and the politician's focus is permanently shifted from the promises he made to the populace that elected him to maintaining the image that these great investors had created so calculatively.

When the IT/BT boom started,Karnataka and Maharashtra had the highest number of Engineering colleges and seats(about 40000 each) and while only about 60% of those passing out of these Karnataka colleges were Kannadigas,this was still a huge number. But to maintain the image of being the best destination for IT, we ended up accepting more companies in Karnataka than we could ensure supply of qualified Kannadigas to(read "chewing more than we needed to digest").

States like AP and TN joined the bandwagon with a more mature approach after learning from the image oriented stumblings of Karnataka.Instead of just blindly allowing companies to set up shop, they first increased their capacities.A state like AP which had fewer than 7000 Engineering seats in 1993 ramped up the capacity to as high as 85000 by 2005.Same with TN which meant that though KA housed 35-38% of IT industries and employee stength, KA's output of total Engineering graduates had come down to about 10% of the total and if one were to consider natives of Karnataka, this percentage was be a mere 6%. So ideally Karnataka should have housed not more than 7-8%( Haaske iddashtE kaalu chachabEku) of the total IT companies or employees and should have focussed simultaneously on other sectors as well. On the other hand TN and AP which ended up supplying 20-22% each of the total Engineering manpower not only have 80-85% of the natives in IT cmpanies housed in their states, but also supply(export) sizeable population of Engineers to the great Image oriented states like KA and MAH.This also provides peopel from TN and AP quite a bit of clout outside of their home state as well.

Now a few home grown intellectuals will argue ( to do away with some guilt that would definitely have grown on them as well) as to how by importing so many people from across India, they are contributing to the tax(corporation tax, income tax and the bull).....but in reality we know how this money goes to the centre and it is again states like AP or TN with greater lobbying power that gets back the lion's share of this in cash and kind. Double whammy indeed....but why should KA care...We are happy with our image of being the largest exporter of IT/BT.The only marginal trickle down benefits in terms of indirect employment resulting from increased consumption is something where a cost benefit analysis is required to confirm if it is really worth the displacement and economic marginalisation of locals.Pls note that in the above mentioned example it is not the skills of a Kannadiga that is at fault but the stupid policies of our image oriented Governments who have got their math wrong in terms of the numbers and also the timing wrong by trying to create demand before enhancing local supply. .

There have been multiple waves of employment in Karnataka- first it was the public sector, then the private sector and then the MNC's. In all cases we have been foolish enough to play only for our image while conveniently sleeping over larger requirements as expressed in Sarojini Mahishi's recommendations or on DM Nanjundappa's recommendations for balanced devlopment.In each wave we have woken up late and ended up doing only damage control rather than being awake to do things with a vision.And each wave has ensured a reduction in the percentage of Kannadiga population within Bangalore in a geometric progression thanks to our great guys in power.

There are multiple waves still in progress and we can still benefit to the larger interests of the 3K's if we do things in a slow and steady manner.For states like Karnataka, it pays to start slow and reap more (atleast right now). A state like KA is actually highly evolved both in terms of the nature of the people and being bestowed with natural resources. It is we who should dictate what we want in KA and what we don't and more importantly when we want it rather than playing in to these great ploys.

This article should also be viewed in the same light.Instead of just blindly allowing investments we should allow investments in areas that can utilise local skills and capacities and where we lack we should start enhancing our capacities for the next wave and hopefully this time we will not repeat the mistakes of the earlier 3 waves.

Our politician's shouldn't play for an image that is created by the media or a few influential folks as none of these same influential voices speak up for Karnataka in terms of getting more funds for the state or in getting justice for the state in crucial issues.

It's high time that our guys started reading between the lines and allow only that quantum of investments and only in those areas that are in the best interests of Kannadigas,Kannada and Karnataka simultaneously.

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