Karnataka’s IT & BT Minister SR Patil has called for better focus on both agriculture and biotech sector.
While addressing delegates at a recently held conference in Bangalore, Patil said that as 65-70 per cent of people in the country are dependent on agriculture, there is an urgent need for the government to devise policies that promote growth of this sector. He added, “Right policies can empower farmers and thereby help the economy.”
More than a quarter of the biotech sector’s earnings have been contributed by Karnataka alone, which stands at $4 billion in 2014-15, and half of it comes from exports. There are 226 biotech companies in the State.
Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, CMD of Biocon, who is also the chairperson for Karnataka’s Vision Group on biotechnologysaid, said, “There is a need to position India as a quality yet affordable healthcare destination.”
The potential growth of this sector can be seen from the fact that according to a recent KPMG study, biotech/ healthcare IT are among the top trends that can disrupt industries in the next 3 years.
The Karnataka Government in 2012 had sent a proposal for setting up an Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR), which got the Union Cabinet approval nod in 2013. This proposal includes setting up of parks where IT and biotechnology companies, including startups can set up operations.
For the development of ITIR, the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) announced that it will acquire 2,072 acres for the first phase of this project, which the state is still in the process of acquiring.