Visakhapatnam

Thrust on transforming city into fintech hub may go

Visakhapatnam will be promoted as an IT hub, Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy has said.

Visakhapatnam will be promoted as an IT hub, Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy has said.  

Minister hints at ‘dispensing with the unnecessary hype’ over disruptive technologies

At a time when the YSRCP government has launched an exercise to formulate a new IT and startup policy, apprehensions are rife that it may dispense with the strategy to transform Visakhapatnam into a fintech hub.

Speculations flared after Minister for Industries and IT Mekapati Goutham Reddy during an in-camera dialogue with the CEOs of IT companies in the city recently hinted at ‘dispensing with the unnecessary hype’ over disruptive technologies such as blockchain. He later stated that the focus while designing the new IT policy would be on ensuring a balanced development and attracting investments to ensure jobs to the locals.

An official, who attended the meeting, told The Hindu that the new government would promote Visakhapatnam as an IT destination, Tirupati and Amaravati region as the hubs for hardware and embedded devices respectively.

Projects fail to ground

The Minister reportedly went on record saying that they would brand Visakhapatnam to make it a prominent IT hub.

During the TDP rule, several conferences and investors’ conclaves were organised spending huge amounts to attract investments into the Fintech and blockchain technology sectors. Incidentally, most of the MoUs signed to bring major players including Lattice80, Google X and SAP did not ground owing to various factors. The agreement signed with Kochi Startup Village to replicate it in Visakhapatnam has also turned out to be a damp squib.

If the grapevines among the official quarters are to be believed, the Designated Technology Park Policy may also be reconsidered under which the government offered rental subsidy to the ‘plug and play’ operators by taking the VMRDA as well as private premises on lease.

The allegation is that in most places, the government had to pay full rental to the building owners even after the allottees have failed to start their operations in the alloted premises, putting a burden on the State exchequer.

The YSRCP, the then main Opposition party, on several occasions, had alleged that the MoUs signed during the CII Partnership Summits were inflated just to create a false impression that investors were lining up to start projects in Visakhapatnam.

Cabinet Sub-Committee

After setting up of a Cabinet Sub-Committee by Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy to review certain decisions taken by the previous government, there is buzz that big ticket projects such as data technology park proposed by Adani Group with an investment of ₹70,000 crore and international convention centre, multiplex and five star hotel with beachfront view planned by the UAE-based LuLu Group would come under scanner.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 3:37:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/thrust-on-transforming-city-into-fintech-hub-may-go/article28494231.ece

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