Government signs MoU with U.K.-based Xchanging

Tier-III city Shimoga is set to become a business process outsourcing (BPO) hub with the State Government on Wednesday entering into a memorandum of understanding with the U.K.-based global business processor Xchanging for building a state-of-the-art high-end business processing centre.

The agreement envisages joint development of six acres of land in a Special Economic Zone in Shimoga on which the business processing centre would come up.

Xchanging CEO David Andrews, who is part of British Prime Minister David Cameron's business delegation to India, and Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa were present when the MoU was signed.

Mr. Andrews told The Hindu his company would invest $ 120 million over five years on the Shimoga project. The proposed centre would initially employ 1,000 people, which could be increased to 2,000 later.

The proposed building would be a green structure with energy-efficient design that would exploit natural ventilation and lighting, he said. This building, which would not have air-conditioners, would create a low carbon environment.

The construction of the building, set to begin in the next two months, is expected to be completed within 18 months, he said.

Asked about the choice of Shimoga, his company's local officials said Shimoga had a pool of untapped potential, especially with the Shimoga University producing 4,000 graduates every year. In a press release, the British Prime Minister, who visited Bangalore on Wednesday, welcomed the signing of MoU and said his government was keen to lay the foundation for an enhanced relationship between Britain and India for the decades to come.

Power plant

Meanwhile, Malaysia-based Tanjong Energy Group on Wednesday made a proposal to set up a 700 MW gas-based power plant in the State with an investment of Rs. 5,000 crore. Mr. Yeddyurappa said the company would choose the location which could be either in Belgaum or Davangere, or Gadag.

Mr. Yeddyurappa also said that the Government would provide Rs. 1 crore to the Sanskrit Research Centre at Melkote for creating facilities.

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