The Rushikonda IT Park Association believes that creating parks with at least 2 lakh to 10 lakh square feet will generate a lot of employment

While welcoming efforts to set up IT Investment Region and Electronic Manufacturing Cluster near the city, IT investors have raised their expectation on the government to dole out sops to encourage growth of IT investments in tier-II cities such as Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupati.

Rushikonda IT Park Association (RITPA) is of the opinion that creating parks with at least 2 lakh to 10 lakh square feet will generate lot of employment to the locals and help attract techies employed outside. This, in turn, will fetch valuable foreign exchange to the exchequer by encouraging exports.

During a meeting held recently to celebrate recruitment of 200 local youths trained under Rajiv Yuva Kiranalu in an IT company, SoftSol, Minister for Infrastructure and Investment Ganta Srinivasa Rao said to make Vizag an IT hub, tourism facilities should be improved.

He described how they had ensured uninterrupted power supply to the IT units and plans to develop beach corridor from Visakhapatnam to Bheemunipatnam at a cost of Rs.45 crore and safe beaches at Lawson’s Bay and Sagarnagar. An incubation centre for first generation investors is under construction at Rushikonda.

“We need waiver of all municipal taxes and fees for new IT park plan approvals. As an incentive, it could be restricted to first five IT parks and the plan approvals maybe given within two weeks,” RITPA vicepresident and CEO of Symbiosys Technologies O. Naresh Kumar told The Hindu on Saturday.

Free bandwidth

He said municipal taxes should be exempted for first three years of operation. He said they had already represented to Union IT Minister Killi Kruparani and State IT Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah for arranging free bandwidth for one year worth Rs. 2 to 3 crore for each IT park.

“For establishment of quality IT space, we need good parking, training rooms, banks and food courts in the park. To build a million sft park will cost around Rs. 350 crore. I feel the government can also pay rent for one year (one time) to the developer and allot the same space (by IT & Communication Department) to new IT promoters or existing big companies moving from metros to ready-made plug and play area,” Mr. Naresh Kumar said.

Software licences

RITPA president P. Vishnu Kumar Raju said free software licences worth Rs. 2 to 3 crore should be given to each IT park. The association sought 25 per cent subsidy on solar power in addition to Central Government subsidy for setting up captive solar power plants.

IT entrepreneurs from Visakhapatnam at a conference held here sometime ago urged the authorities to extend waiver of sales tax and local tax on all purchases made for construction of IT Park and sorting out of disputes over payment of service tax and tax deduction at source.

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