Bengaluru: British Prime Minister Theresa May, who arrived here on Tuesday from New Delhi for a day-long visit, met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who during their talks raised the issue of rising cost of British visas.
Welcoming British Prime Minister Theresa May to Karnataka, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the temporary placement of highly skilled individuals into the UK provides a significant economic boost while having a negligible impact on net migration and the movement of skilled tech workers from India should be treated as a trade priority rather than an immigration issue. “Under the new visa rules announced by the UK Home Office, anyone applying after November 24 under the Tier 2 intra-company transfer (ICT) category would be required to meet a higher salary threshold of 30,000 pounds from the earlier 20,800 pounds. I request you to review the new policy so that the earlier threshold is continued,’’ the chief minister said.
He said Karnataka government had signed a memorandum of understanding to set up UK Health Project and 400 acres of land has been earmarked for this project at Dharwad. “We look forward to the early setting up of this project which would support manufacturing and research and development in medical devices and equipments. We are also keen to collaborate with UK in the fields of maternal and child nutrition and higher education in the public health and health care,’’ the chief minister said.
He said Karnataka would be hosting the much acclaimed Aero India show in February 2017 in Bengaluru and several British companies under the aegis of UK Trade and Investment have actively participated in the previous Aero India events. “We welcome the UK government and British industry to actively participate in this year’s event and chalk out a clear cut plan to build up on our mutual strengths of aerospace and defence,’’ he said.
May also visited the state-run Stonehill primary school at Papanahalli on the city’s northern outskirts and interacted with its girls and boys.
After visiting Dynamatic Technologies Ltd at the Peenya industrial state in the northwest suburb and inspecting its aerospace facility in the afternoon, May will drive into the city for two-three other engagements, including a visit to an ancient Someshwara temple in the eastern suburb for the blessing of Hindu deity Shiva.
The 15th century temple is one the oldest in the southern state, dating back to the Chola period. Elaborate arrangements have been made to ensure the safety and security of the visiting dignitary and her accompanying official delegation. “Vehicular traffic has been restricted and regulated on the routes May’s motorcade will take to the venues where her engagements are scheduled and to avoid grid lock on the main roads,” said a police official.
May is on a three-day maiden official visit to India since Sunday and the first country outside the European Union after she assumed office in July this year.
On way back to the airport, May will hold an hour-long interactive session with chief executives of India Inc at a start hotel in the city.
A delegation of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) will call on her at the venue.
May is the fourth British Premier to visit Bengaluru after her (Conservative) Party’s then leader John Major on January 9, 1997, Labour Party’s leader Tony Blair on January 4, 2002 and David Cameron on July 28, 2010.