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ITIR in Vizag: State may have to submit fresh proposal

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As the Ministry of IT and Communications will revise its policy, the DPR submitted by Ernst & Young couple of years ago may become redundant now

The State government is likely to be forced to submit a fresh proposal for sanction of IT Investment Region in Visakhapatnam with the Centre deciding to have a re-look at the ITIR policy.

The demand for ITIR in Visakhapatnam had gained momentum during the Samaikyandhra agitation after the UPA-II government announced the sanction of ITIR for Hyderabad in an area of 40.4 sq. km in 2013 with an estimated investment of Rs.2 lakh crore over a period of 25 years.

Rude shock

The Centre’s decision came as a rude shock to the State government as it came a few days after IT Minister Palle Raghunadha Reddy exuded confidence that the Union Cabinet would give thumbs up to ITIR project at a programme here.

As the Ministry of IT and Communications will revise its policy framing fresh guidelines, the detailed project report submitted by Ernst & Young couple of years ago may become redundant now. A senior government official told The Hindu that they had decided to adopt a ‘wait and watch’ policy. The project, if sanctioned will attract an estimated investment of Rs.50,000 crore to Rs.60,000 crore.

“I am pretty sure that the State has to start everything from scratch in submitting a proposal to the Centre for sanction of ITIR – which promised during bifurcation debate – after the Centre unveils the new policy,” Rushikonda IT Park Association vice-president O. Naresh Kumar said. As per the requirement, the district administration and APIIC have identified 12,000 acres of processing and non-processing areas for development as ITIR. Visakhapatnam is the largest city in Navya Andhra Pradesh with an IT turnover of Rs.1,800 crore to Rs.2,000 crore.

Once ITIR is sanctioned, the development of the city as a prominent IT hub would have got shot in the arm with pumping in of Rs.5,000 crore to create the required ecosystem.

Though big players like HSBC, Wipro, Tech Mahindra and IBM have their campuses in the city and Oracle has expressed interest to open an office, the city still lacks social infrastructure to attract big ticket projects.

As the Ministry of IT and Communications will revise its policy, the detailed project report submitted by Ernst & Young couple of years ago may become redundant now