New Government Should Focus on Inclusive Development of Karnataka

By – Kiran Mazumdar- Shaw, President, B.PAC and CMD, Biocon

The results of the Karnataka Assembly elections have fallen short of giving an absolute majority to any party paving the way for alliances which has set in a bit of uncertainty.

Irrespective of which alliance forms the government, Karnataka needs a stable government that carries forward the development agenda.

Karnataka, which is the third-highest contributor to India’s GDP, has the fastest growing gross domestic state product at 8.5% in fiscal 2017-18. To maintain this pace of economic growth, the new government should ensure that key infrastructure development projects, cleared by the former government, do not get stalled. And the allocations made for key sectors in the latest Budget are spent effectively. Therefore, implementation has to be the biggest focus. Simultaneously, efforts need to be made to further improve the ease of doing business and the investment climate in the state.

The policy of implementing key projects and plugging capacity gaps through robust public private partnership (PPPs) will need to continue.

It is also my fervent hope that whichever party comes to power, it works to restore Bengaluru to its pride of place in the list of India’s best cities. Despite contributing to about 60% of Karnataka’s economic output, Bengaluru has suffered due to corruption, poor governance and political apathy.

Political parties have over the years chosen to look the other way as Bengaluru has descended into civic chaos with bad roads, shoddy infrastructure, lack of water & power, unruly traffic and poor solid waste management.

The new state government needs to work for the citizens, be more accountable, transparent, open to being assessed on performance metrics and willing to make public disclosures of their work. They need to respect the mandate of the people for clean politics, as well as, address the key issues plaguing the common man.

The finances of the local body and other city agencies need to be strengthened to maintain infrastructure, support economic activity and sustain public services.

The deficits in physical infrastructure, knowledge infrastructure, social infrastructure and financial infrastructure need to be plugged swiftly.

While it is necessary to invest in developing rural infrastructure, it should not be done at the cost of urban centres. We must understand that investing in urban infrastructure is investing in economic growth.

We hope the new government heeds the voice of the voters for building an economically strong state that supports robust, inclusive and equitable growth and a better Bengaluru with a high liveability index.

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