Karnataka Cabinet Reshuffle: Kharge assigned IT-BT, Patil for Infrastructure.
June 1, 2023
In a recent development, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has reallocated two major portfolios that were previously held by him. Priyank Kharge has been assigned the IT-BT (Information Technology-Biotechnology) portfolio, while MB Patil will oversee infrastructure development.
Initially, the chief minister himself had been overseeing these portfolios after the initial allocation of ministerial portfolios on May 28. However, in a notification, Karnataka Governor Thawarchand Gehlot approved the chief minister's recommendation for the allocation of portfolios.
Priyank Kharge, who is the son of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and represents the Chittapur constituency, was initially assigned the Rural Development and Panchayat Raj portfolio. He will now also be responsible for the IT-BT portfolio, which holds significant importance for Bengaluru, given its status as a hub for major IT and biotech companies as well as global capability centers (GCCs).
The state of Karnataka boasts over 5,500 IT/ITES companies and around 750 multinational corporations, contributing to exports worth over $58 billion, according to the Karnataka Economic Survey. This sector provides direct employment to over 1.2 million professionals and generates more than 3.1 million indirect jobs. Software exports alone account for nearly 40 percent of India's total exports worth $155 billion.
This will be Priyank Kharge's third term as an MLA from Chittarpur, having previously won elections in 2013 and 2018. He previously served as the state minister for tourism, information technology, and biotechnology from 2016 to 2018.
MB Patil, a prominent Lingayat leader and a five-time MLA, has been assigned the Infrastructure Development Department portfolio, which includes overseeing the implementation of the Bengaluru suburban rail project spanning 148 kilometers and costing Rs 15,767 crore.
Sources indicate that both Patil and Priyank were contenders for the IT-BT portfolio, but the decision favored Priyank Kharge in the end.
This reshuffle is expected to bring a fresh perspective and renewed focus to these key sectors, driving growth and development in the state of Karnataka.