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'Karnataka needs to woo investors'

Industry seeks better tax rates, ease of doing biz; Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar confident of State bouncing back

Published: 16th September 2020 06:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th September 2020 04:37 PM   |  A+A-

car factory

For representational purposes

Express News Service

BENGALURU: A day after Toyota Kirloskar Motor Vice-President Shekar Viswanathan said that Toyota Motor Corp won’t expand further in India due to the high tax regime, Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw tweeted, “I hope government corrects this perception as we need to incentivise all foreign investors to expand their operations. Taxes must be rationalized to boost business confidence.’’ 

On Monday, Viswanathan had gone on record to say that Toyota won’t exit India, but will not scale up. The buzz among the investor community is that the government needs to do more to encourage investments at a time like this, when economic growth has shrunk by 23 per cent. Investors have sought better tax rates, good tax administration and greater ease of doing business here.

Economist and former National Finance Commission member Prof Govind Rao told TNIE, “Basically, the tax administration must be much more responsive, it is not so much the rate of tax but the tax administration which can be very harassing. They need to streamline administration to see that honest taxpayers are not harassed.’’     

Former Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry president and industrialist  J Crasta, whose investments top Rs 200 crore, said, “About 18-20 years ago, we were competing with the then united Andhra Pradesh for second and third position because Gujarat was number one. A few weeks ago, Karnataka slipped in rankings to number 17, and states like Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand have overtaken us. We need to work hard to catch up. At a time like this, the government must step in to encourage investors of tangible actions.’’   

Former Industries Minister R V Deshpande, who now heads the KPCC Vision Group, said, “This needs to be looked at by the government very seriously. India has to emerge as a global investment destination. Tax rates are high, and at a time when the economy has contracted by 23 per cent, they should take it seriously.’’

Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar, who was working to get investments from China and other destinations, told TNIE, “The survey in which Karnataka ranked 17 was done 5-6 months ago, things have changed since then. We have brought in progressive measures like the industrial policy, Land Reforms Act and so on. I am confident we will figure at fifth position if a survey is done now. We are working very hard and there are many inquiries and proposals regarding fresh investments. Things may be bad because of Covid, it is true that our revenues are down and we are not able to encourage investors more, but we are at it and will do well.’’


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