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Karnataka favours adoption of Goods and Services Tax, says CM
October, 12th 2011

The Karnataka Chief Minister said on Tuesday that his Government favours adoption of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

We, in the Empowered Committee of the State Finance Ministers, are for GST in India and will be guided by the views taken collectively by the Committee, the Karnataka Chief Minister, Mr D.V. Sadananda Gowda, said while addressing the national executive committee meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

He also outlined the States vision for holistic growth by promoting equitable development of sectors and districts, and providing employment to all sections of the people and regions of the State by 2020.

According to him, the core elements of Karnatakas Vision 2020 are: Institutionalising of good governance across the State through enhanced transparency, accountability and participation; making Karnataka a globally-competitive destination and a leader among Indian states; enhancing human capabilities to promote equitable growth; eliminating poverty and deprivation and achieve millennium development goals by 2015 and providing safety and security to all citizens, and upholding peace and communal harmony in the State.

Investor-friendly policy framework
Karnataka has been successful in implementing an investor-friendly policy framework, said Mr Gowda, adding that the State was a veritable treasure trove for investors.

He pointed out that the State has endless potential across sectors such as agro and food processing to automobiles and engineering, textiles and garments to IT and biotechnology.

The State Government has taken initiatives to strengthen the industrial base through the creation of land banks, augmentation of power, gas pipeline projects from Dabhol to Bangalore and from Chennai to Bangalore to Mangalore, he said.

Mr Gowda added that the State through its new industrial policy (2009-14) aims to create a level-playing field for free and fair competition and robust industrial growth in the State.

Speaking at the event, Mr Harsh Mariwala, President, FICCI, said that transaction costs associated with regulations and administrative procedures were still high in the State, and emphasised the need to streamline the process of giving approvals through a single-window mechanism to make it more effective.

On mining
He expressed concern over the ban imposed by the State on mining in Bellary, Tumkur and Chitradurga districts.

The economic losses resulting from the continuation of the ban on private-sector mining of iron ore could be enormous, he said.

According to him, it might even force closure of steel plants in Karnataka and lead to loss of employment and revenue to the State exchequer.

Mr Mariwala said that the introduction of the GST from 2012 would make the supply chain tax neutral, reduce economic distortions and compliance cost and create a common market across India.

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