No undue concessions to Tecom: Kerala CM

TRIVANDRUM — Kerala Chief Minister V S Achutanandan has dismissed the charges levelled by opposition leader Oommen Chandy against the final agreement signed by the Left Democratic Front government with Tecom for setting up the SmartCity at Cochin as part of a deliberate move to create a smoke screen.

By Our Correspondent

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Published: Sun 20 May 2007, 8:53 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 11:06 PM

Responding to the six questions raised by Chandy, the chief minister said that the government had not given any undue concession to the Tecom as alleged by the former. The agreement inked last week was more favourable to the state than the one finalised by the previous government.

“The lease rent we have fixed for the 234 acres of land to be given for the proposed IT project is three times more than the land price fixed by the United Democratic Front government headed by Oommen Chandy,” the Chief Minister pointed out.

Referring to Chandy’s query regarding the status of the land of Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) and Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) to be given for the project, Achutanandan said that it was part of the 234 acres of land to be leased for the SmartCity.

Regarding the opposition leader’s charge about reduction of the capital base in the venture, the Chief Minister said that only the initial capital investment was brought down. The total capital investment remains at Rs.17 billion. The share capital would be to the tune of Rs.6.8 billion.

As regards Chandy’s apprehensions regarding the government stake in the venture, Achutandan said that the government should be congratulated for raising the stake from 9 per cent to 26 per cent. He pointed out that the former chief minister had settled for 9 per cent stake after giving the state-run Infopark.

He termed Chandy’s charge that the government had facilitated income tax concession to the TECOM by losing revenue worth Rs.400 million as baseless. The chief minister described the opposition leader’s question on the change effected in the agreement over the jobs to be created by the project as a big joke.

He said that the 90, 000 jobs included in the clause were direct jobs to be created by companies setting up shops in the SmartCity. Achutanandan said the questions raised by the opposition leader did not deserve any reply.

“I have sought to answer them as I did not want to show any disrespect to the opposition”, Achutanandan said adding that the final agreement was inked after careful consideration of all aspects. He said that the SmartCity would immensely benefit the state.

Ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) secretary Pinrayi Vijayan has also ridiculed the opposition leader’s charges against the project. He said that the project was given the nod with the unanimous approval of the ruling coalition.

Infosys to develop Rs3.06 billion campus: IT major Infosys Technologies Limited has unveiled its plan to develop a campus with world class working environment in the Kerala capital at an investment of Rs.3.06 billion.

Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony of its software development centre here yesterday, K. Dinesh, co-founder of the company and member of its board, said the proposed centre would have 8000 seats.

The new centre is designed to enhance productivity and efficiency. The company has been operating out of a leased space in the Technopark with 1,100 seats for the last two years. It has invested Rs 300 million on the facility so far.

Dinesh said Infosys would create a capacity to seat 1,500 employees over the next one year.

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