There has been a long-pending demand for a US Consulate in the Karnataka capital as applicants have to travel to Chennai or Hyderabad for any visa application work.
Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa on Wednesday renewed the demand for a United States Consulate based in Bengaluru during a virtual meeting with the newly-appointed Consul General of the US Consulate General in Chennai, Judith Ravin. During the meeting, the Chief Minister assured complete cooperation for the opening of a US Consulate in Bengaluru. According to reports, the Chief Minister pointed out that there have been repeated demands for the opening of an American Consulate in the IT hub of India. He also highlighted that 90 out of the 100 American companies running operations in India have offices in Bengaluru.
The meeting took place in the presence of Chief Secretary TM Vijayabhaskar, Deputy Chief Secretary to Chief Ministers Dr EV Ramanareddy, Chief Minister’s Advisor M Laxminarayan, Chief Ministers’ Secretary Selvakumar, Commerce and Industry Department Secretary Gaurav Gupta.
The U.S. Consulate General, Chennai also tweeted that matters like space-tech collaborations, healthcare in times of COVID-19 pandemic and business ties between the US and India were discussed in the meeting.
This is not the first time the demand for a US Consulate is being raised in Karnataka. Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister CN Ashwath Narayan had held a meeting with the previous Consulate General urging the US to consider setting up a Consulate in the state.
“Nearly 70% of South Indians going to the US are from Karnataka. I have brought it to the notice of the consulate general on our long-pending request to set up a Visa Centre,” he said.
The Deputy CM also promised a conducive atmosphere for American industries that are planning to shift to Karnataka after the COVID-19 economic distress.
Drawing attention to the good relation Karnataka had with the US he had said, “Of the top Fortune 500 Companies, 400 are in Karnataka. If more companies want to set up shops here, the government will provide all the necessary assistance. Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa is already acting on this.”
Bengaluru and Mysore are IT hubs in the state with a significant presence of companies like Oracle, IBM, Intel, HP, Cisco and GE. Most visa applicants from South Karnataka travel to Chennai and applicants from North Karnataka visit Hyderabad to complete work related to visa applications.
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