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Last Updated : Jun 25, 2018 06:36 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

EXCLUSIVE: Will promote smaller cities as IT destinations, says Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy

Kumaraswamy said his government will also encourage smaller centres like Hubballi, Mangaluru and Belgaum to come up.

Neha Alawadhi @alnehaa

Karnataka's newly appointed chief minister HD Kumaraswamy said  his government was  taking steps to ensure the information technology sector, a mainstay of the state, continues to grow.

In an exclusive chat with Moneycontrol, Kumaraswamy spoke about the  technology-related initiatives his government has drawn up.

He said his government would encourage tier-2 and tier-3 cities  like Hubballi, Mangaluru and Belgaum to come up as IT destinations, something the previous Congress government was planning. This will help take some pressure off Bengaluru, which is currently the go-to location for technology companies. The fast pace of development over the years has put tremendous strain on the civic infrastructure of the city.

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"We are going to announce several incentives in the coming Budget, to encourage them (smaller cities)," he said.

Kumaraswamy said that like the previous government, his government too was committed to develop the IT industry.

"That is our main sector. Not just in the IT sector, in several sectors we want to generate employment in big numbers," he said.

The chief minister will be presenting the JD(S)-Congress coalition government's budget on July 5.

Kumaraswamy confirmed reports that he had reached out to Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy,  for his thoughts on city panning in Bengaluru.

Kumaraswamy said he met Murthy twice, and "requested his assistance regarding the IT sector, and several other issues, particularly in Bengaluru city development....but his health does not permit it."

However, Murthy has assured the new chief minister that he will be happy to advise the government whenever required.

Kumaraswamy said he has also met other industry leaders, including Biocon chairperson & managing director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and former Infosys chief financial officer Mohandas Pai. He said he would also like to meet Wipro chairman Azim Premji and involve industry leaders in improving governance standards in the state.

There have also been rumours of the new government looking to restrict night life in Bengaluru, which has raised concerns amongst the IT professionals in the city.

"That is there, but in the name of nightclub culture, some illegal activity is going on. I don’t want to encourage that. For that we are carefully going to certain decisions...Nothing has been decided yet," he said.

In addition to IT, another focus of the Karnataka government is promoting tourism in the State.

"I wanted to encourage the investors in several fields, particularly in tourism sector," said Kumaraswamy, adding that several foreign investors are interested in investing in different industries in the state, and that his government will support them in a transparent manner.

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First Published on Jun 25, 2018 06:22 pm
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