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B'lore woes: Biotech queen slams Govt

Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said that future expansion of her firm would not happen in Karnataka. Do you think Bangalore is losing out to H'bad?

india Updated: Mar 10, 2006 20:28 IST

Blaming it on the "ineffective" bureaucracy and "very confused" ruling coalition in Karnataka, Biotech 'queen' Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw on Friday said infrastructural woes were impeding the growth of Bangalore.

The Chairman and Managing Director of Biocon Ltd, India's largest biotech firm, also said that future expansion of her company would not happen in Karnataka as the Government is not supporting the industry (in general).

India's richest businesswoman said that Bangalore is no longer the "venue of choice when it comes to at least showcasing India."

"Today, Hyderabad, to some extent, had overtaken Bangalore. Even US President George W Bush went to Hyderabad (during his recent visit to India). He didn't come to Bangalore. That was largely as a result of Bangalore's failing infrastructure," she said in an interview.

She severely criticised the previous Congress-JD(S) coalition headed by Dharam Singh, which collapsed earlier this year following withdrawal of support by the Kumaraswamy-led group, and also attacked the bureaucracy in a strong language.

In cases where politicians are "irresponsible" but bureaucracy is strong and effective, "you see progress".

"Here unfortunately, bureaucracy seems to be as ineffective as the Government. You can almost say that one is almost complimenting the other kind. It's a serious situation," she said.

"If you don't have a bureaucracy that's effective, it's very, very bad for a state," Mazumdar-Shaw said.

"It's likely to continue. That's why I don't see hope," she added.

Mazumdar-Shaw said that though coalition politics has come to stay, what's actually needed is a stable coalition.

"That's what I don't think is happening in Karnataka. It seems to be a coalition which is all about pulling the rug from partner's feet kind of a thing. That becomes very difficult."

On the Dharam Singh government, she said, "the Congress-JDS coalition said they are not going to focus on urban development but on rural development. The sad thing is that they did neither."

Mazumdar-Shaw said Chief Minister Kumaraswamy, who assumed charge last month, has made "very good statements".

But she also wondered that "if he can't get bureaucracy to implement and support him, how is he going to do all this?"

She said most of the IT companies are moving out of Bangalore.

"Today, if you ask me if I really had to expand my business, would I do it in Karnataka ? No. I would certainly look for opportunities. Any future project, I will not do it in Karnataka. There is no support for industry."

"Core of all this is infrastructure. We (Karnataka and industry in general) cannot hope to have that kind of exponential progress of growth unless infrastructural issues are addressed. It becomes very difficult to pursue growth. When you spend so much time commuting, it's a loss of very valuable time," she said.

First Published: Mar 10, 2006 14:16 IST