Three Reasons Why Karnataka Is India’s Most Prosperous State

*This is a sponsored feature by Karnataka Government.

Karnataka has long been the hottest destination for Indian and foreign companies looking to disrupt the established corporate order. Economic indicators show it’s the best place in India to do business, with financial incentives and industry-specific concessions paying off.

Gross state domestic product (GSDP) grew at a CAGR of 13.33% between 2011-12 and 2016-17, while per capita GSDP expanded at a CAGR of 12.11% during the same period. FDI equity inflows stood at Rs 1.58 lakh crore in June 2017.

Karnataka may be a technology hub, but the government has a track record of supporting traditional sectors, such as agriculture, with stimuli and infrastructure to bolster future growth.

Krishi Bhagya - putting farmers first

Karnataka has prioritized farmers’ well-being by digitizing how they market and sell their crops, boosting their livelihoods with competitive prices.

The Krishi Bhagya scheme is another move to secure farmers’ incomes by conserving rainwater and using modern technology to beat the unpredictability of the monsoon. Since its launch in 2014, Rs 1,121 crore has been spent on this program, with another Rs 375 crore allotted.

Roughly 1.6 lakh ponds have been created to collect and store rainwater. Farmers water their crops using micro-irrigation systems, such as drips and sprinklers, that distribute the saved rainwater. Since the program was unveiled, 3.9 lakh farmers on 4 lakh hectares of land have benefited from this technology. Water conservation and increased productivity through innovation mean greater yields for farmers. Thanks to Krishi Bhagya, crop productivity is up by 30 per cent.

Micro-irrigation systems are heavily subsidized for farmers - 90% for those with up to five acres of land and 50% for those with more than five acres.

Krishi Bhagya has been so successful that the government is spending Rs 200 crore to apply the same principles to horticulture crops.

Job creation across sectors

“Invest Karnataka” has drawn outside funds while grooming the burgeoning startup ecosystem, as well as established sectors such as heavy engineering, biotechnology, and automobiles. The result is 15 lakh job opportunities created in the last five years under the watch of the Honourable Chief Minister. Each day, people take advantage of Karnataka’s reputation as the Silicon Valley of India and become entrepreneurs, thereby creating even more jobs.

Karnataka’s standing as an innovation hub that attracts top engineering and technology talent can be seen in numbers: the state is home to more than 28,000 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which employ around 3.72 lakh people.

As part of the government’s ambitious Vision 2020 plan, a further 2.4 lakh jobs will be created in the Electronic Systems Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) sector. This segment includes verticals such as telecom, avionics, defence electronics and energy.

In a commitment to inclusivity and progressive development, one-third of jobs in the Karnataka Civil Service are reserved for women.

The success of the Karnataka Industrial Policy, 2014-19 is evident: a highly educated workforce and thousands of post-secondary institutions have made Karnataka the “Knowledge Capital of India.”

The road to prosperity is paved with action

Road infrastructure is one of the key reasons for Karnataka’s social and economic advancement. First-class transport connectivity is vital to maintaining Karnataka’s reputation as an industrial and technology hub.

An improved road network also connects more remote areas with urban and suburban zones, increasing access to public services such as health care and education.

The government has constructed almost 30,000 km of state and district highways to unite every corner of Karnataka. Between 2013 and 2017, 8,288 km roads were constructed under the Namma Grama Namma Rasthe scheme.

In addition, the Karnataka State Highways Improvement Project (KSHIP) has entered the third phase of developing and upgrading the core road network. KSHIP-III endeavours to build 418.5 km of roads at a cost of Rs 5,334.2 crore in 2017-18.

In urban centres, improved roads have been central to the government’s push toward sustainable development. More than Rs 115 crore has been earmarked for the Tender SURE (Specifications for Urban Roads Execution) project in Bengaluru. This initiative aims to safely accommodate everyone who uses the city’s roads - pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and street vendors - while encouraging the use of public transport.

The work doesn’t stop once roads are built - the 2017-18 budget also mandated the creation of the Karnataka State Road Safety Authority, to reduce road accidents and improve road safety.