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Karnataka plans to set up industrial hubs in five districts across the state's northern region to ensure regional balance and uniform development, said state Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar on Wednesday (7 July).

"The industrial hubs or clusters will be set up in Bidar, Kalaburagi, Koppal, Raichur and Yadgir districts in the northern region to facilitate investments in diverse sectors and create hundreds of jobs," Shettar told reporters.

For instance, a toy cluster is being set up in Koppal district with Rs 5,000 crore investment for making toys for domestic and export markets and create about 10,000 jobs when it is commissioned.

"As part of our new industrial policy (2020-24), we want industries in and around Bengaluru to expand their operations in tier-2 and tier-3 cities across the state, especially in the five northern districts of 'Kaushalya' Karnataka," said Shettar.

With airports at Bidar and Kalaburagi in the region connected to Bengaluru, Hubli and Belagavi across the state and Hyderabad in Telangana, Shettar said air, rail and road connectivity would promote rapid growth of industries in the five districts, which have been lagging behind in economic development.

"Facilities are being created to form a pharmaceutical cluster in about 1,000 acres of land in Yadgir's Kadechur industrial area, where approvals have been given to 62 companies to collectively invest Rs 2,531 crore," said Shettar.

Referring to Rs 3 lakh crore economic package that Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced recently to revive industries hit hard by the Covid pandemic, the minister said the state government had waived power bills of small, micro and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the state for three months.