Mysuru gets a raw deal in the budget

The home turf of former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has received a raw deal in the State Budget for 2018-19 presented by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Thursday.

Observers point out that the bulk of projects and allocations have gone to either Ramanagaram or Hassan, and there was nothing new for Mysuru.

But for a Rs. 3 crore grant announced to establish a silk cocoon market in Mysuru district – of which only Rs. 1 crore would be released during 2018-19 – there are no new projects specifically for the region.

Of the old proposals, which have been “recycled and repackaged” in the budget, the drinking water project at Haleundawadi, for which Rs. 50 crore has been allotted, is one. It was mooted six years ago under the JNNURM, but its implementation is set to be a challenge as there is no land.

Electronic manufacturing

It was also announced in the budget that an integrated chip manufacturing unit would be established in Mysuru. But the Mysuru-Nanjangud corridor was identified as an electronic hardware manufacturing hub in 2011 and there the matter rested.

Local entrepreneurs say the bulk of electronic manufacturing in Mysuru region has stemmed from private enterprise and it has very little to do with government policy initiatives.

Similarly, the budget has announced that “there is a necessity of a stable institutional management system of industrial areas and colonies. In this background, already developed industrial areas and colonies will be converted into industrial town areas.” Stakeholders say this is nothing but the concept of industrial township authority mooted a few years ago by the previous government but is yet to be implemented. The concept entails providing a single window system for developing infrastructure in the notified industrial area, and taking it out of the purview of local bodies.

A balancing act

Mysore Industries Association (MIA) has stated that the budget has taken cognisance of the imperatives of the partners in the coalition government and has done a balancing act by retaining the admirable programmes of the previous Congress government.

Former MLA Mr. Vasu, who is also the president of the MIA, said the focus on agriculture and farmers was a good development.

The MIA has also welcomed the announcement that action would taken to reform the existing system in allocation of industrial sheds by fixing the final rate to the allottees soon after the KIADB develops the industrial site.

Mr. Suresh Kumar Jain of the MIA said the existing practice was to lease the industrial plot for a few years on payment of a lumpsum amount based on the prevailing market rate.

But at the time of transfer of ownership, after the expiry of the lease, the government would levy afresh the prevailing market rate and it was akin to investors paying twice. Due to temporary allotment of sheds it had created an atmosphere of insecurity among the investors and was discouraging new investment, he added.

The MIA has also regretted that the budget makes no mention of establishing industrial waste management facility in Mysuru.

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