labels: economy - general
Southern CMs jostle for large investments: CNBC news
12 September 2006

The three chief ministers have jostled for political power in the past. Now it''s a battle to attract investment into their respective states. Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Karunanidhi, it seems, will do almost anything to bring in the bucks. That includes highlighting his state''s strengths in English, a language he is not known to speak often.

Tamil Nadu has a trump card in Dayanidhi Maran, union minister for telecom, who has helped to bring more than a billion dollars in investment in the two years since he''s been union minister.

He and his granduncle, chief minister Karunanidhi, visited Bangalore to woo investors to his state. The promise of better infrastructure and personal attention from a union minister it seems is Tamil Nadu''s USP.

Karnataka has long been the poster boy of Indian IT. But it has had problems in the past year. First, Bangalore''s infamous infrastructure mess, then a raging battle between the Chief Minister''s father and Infosys chief Narayan Murthy saw many companies threaten to leave Bangalore.

But the new chief minister has sought to calm those fears and improve Bangalore''s infrastructure.

Hyderabad has often been touted as an alternative to Bangalore. Chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy says over Rs30,000 crore investment is due soon. And the government has a relatively easy way to acquire the 22,000 acres of land it needs.

It will give landowners, who are farmers, two choices. Either become a revenue shareholder in the finished project. Or have part of his land returned to him after the government develops it. This would boost its value.

Reddy says, "In and around Hyderabad quite a few SEZs are being planned. Besides that, ONGC is planning an SEZ in Kakinada for 10,000 acres, Nelur and Chitur districts will also have SEZs. So all these areas will come up.''

Besides land assurances the government offers industries rebates on power tariffs. So, from subsidised power to speaking in alien tongues, it seems that the three chief ministers will do anything to ensure they win the battle for the buck.


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Southern CMs jostle for large investments: CNBC