Interaction with Ms. Gunjan Krishna, IAS, Commissioner for Industrial Development & Director Department of Industries & Commerce, Government of Karnataka, on the Future of Industry Post COVID-19
AMCHAM’s Karnataka Chapter hosted a virtual interaction on May 18th with Ms. Gunjan Krishna, IAS, Commissioner for Industrial Development & Director Department of Industries & Commerce, Government of Karnataka, on the ‘Future of Industry Post COVID-19.’ The focus of the webinar was to share latest updates on policy from the State Government of Karnataka with regard to industry and industrial development as well as members challenges faced running business during and after COVID-19. The session was opened by Ms. Ranjana Khanna, Director General CEO, AMCHAM, with opening remarks by Mr. Sanjay Koul, Vice Chairman, AMCHAM and Chairman & Managing Director, Timken Limited India. Below were the key points addressed by Ms. Krishna.
- The focus of the Karnataka government has been on how to move ahead from the crisis of COVID-19
- Initially Karnataka began in the top 3 with large number of IT companies and people travelling around the globe. Now Karnataka has dropped down to among the top 10 states. Karnataka has done well with a low growth rate of cases. Mysore which had a very big hot spot has now become 0 cases.
- The entire endeavour of the Department of Industry was to ensure continuity. Thus essential services was facilitated. IT companies and offices there is a 33% restriction on number of employees. All manufacturing except those in containment zones can work at full capacity with social distancing norms followed.
- The biggest problem is movement with inter district and interstate. There is a website for online application which is operational from today and all applications go to Ms. Krishna’s office. The website link is http://serviceonline.gov.in/karnataka/
- The next point is the revival of activity especially MSME. The Government of India has come up with 5 packages with one dedicated to MSMEs. GoK for the MSME has waived off the fixed electricity charges for a period of 2 months. For large and mega industry there is a deferment by 2 months.
- They are looking to bring about major land and labour reforms to make it easy for people to get land and get started. Any project that has approval from single window can buy land directly from the farmers and now direct purchase can be done.
- Labour reforms – GoK is looking at a calibrated approach, on how to streamline the License Raj and the Inspector Raj – how to make sure returns filing is smooth. How can companies get applications online without any touchpoint. How women can be allowed to work during the night shift. Some are already operationalized.
- The Department of Industry wants to know what are the pain points from members to understand assistance they need from a labour law perspective.
- The focus is to attract investment from American companies into Karnataka. Land banks are available for companies to invest and expand around Bangalore, Mysore, Dharwad.
The session was closed by Mr. Ravi Krishnan, Vice Chairman – Karnataka Chapter, AMCHAM and Chief Administration Officer, Goldman Sachs. The webinar was attended by companies like Saggezza, IBM, Stanley Black & Decker, Johnson Controls, Citrix Systems, A.O. Smith, APCO Worldwide and others.