Andhra Pradesh SEZs to attract Rs.350 bn investment

February 16th, 2008 - 7:31 pm ICT by admin  

Hyderabad, Feb 16 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh is expected to attract an investment of Rs.350 billion and create 2.5 million jobs through Special Economic Zones (SEZs) proposed to be set up in the state. Some 71 SEZs are coming up in the state. Already 49 SEZs have been notified by the central government, which is the highest number for any state in the country, with a potential to raise capital investments of Rs.350 billion, said Finance Minister K. Rosaiah in the state budget for 2008-09 presented Saturday.

“These SEZs are expected to create employment for about 25 lakh (2.5 million) persons in the state,” he said in his budget speech.

He said 40 SEZs were approved by the central government for the IT sector, which is the highest in the country and would create IT office environment of international standards, which would provide employment to over 800,000 people in the next five years.

“Fifteen private IT parks are being developed by private IT park developers. It is projected that it will provide employment to 149,000 people in the near future,” he said.

The finance minister allocated Rs.3.97 billion for the IT sector, up by 366 percent. The allocation for the current year (2007-08) was only Rs.850 million.

Rosaiah announced that Rs.3.2 billion was allocated for three new Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) coming up in the state for rural students.

The IT sector contributes 52 percent of the total export of the state and has been growing at over 40 percent in each of the last three years.

Quoting a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) report, he said Andhra Pradesh ranks second among the states in the country with total investment intention for 2006-07 of Rs.251.73 billion, next only to Gujarat.

Pointing out that the manufacturing sector attracted an investment of Rs.123.50 billion during the last three and half years, he said during the next two to three years, Rs.386.71 billion were likely to be invested.

Laying special emphasis on improving infrastructure, the finance minister has allocated Rs.22.77 billion for the sector, an increase of 73 percent over the current year.

Informing the members that the new Hyderabad international airport was getting operational on March 16, Rosaiah said the site has been selected for an international airport in the coastal city of Visakhapatnam.

The state government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Airport Authority of India for upgrading the airports at Rajahmundry, Vijayawada, Warangal and Kadpa. An amount of Rs.600 million has been earmarked for all thee airports in the 2008-09 budget.

“These airports are also proposed to be taken up under public-private partnership mode,” he said. In order to provide better aviation services in the state, Andhra Pradesh Aviation Corporation has been established in the public sector with an outlay of Rs.550 million.”

The finance minister allocated Rs.1.5 billion for the metro rail project in Hyderabad, which the government plans to develop as world-class city. The amount will be used for land acquisition and shifting of utilities.

Rosaiah announced plans to develop ports in all nine coastal districts of the state, which has the second highest cargo handling capacity in the country.

The Gangavaram port being developed near Visakhapatnam is expected to be operational this year and is estimated to handle 35 million metric tones of cargo. The Krishnapatnam port is also expected to be operational by July 2008. He allocated Rs.652 million for ports development.

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