Thursday, April 26, 2007

Smart-City : a deal near missed

Smart-city agreement appears to be nearly through and if everything goes good, we should have the papers signed in two or three days.

For the unawares - Smart-City is a Rs 15 billion venture between Kerala government and the Dubai based promoters 'Tecom' to setup a IT based infrastructure in Kochi, primarily to attract MNCs looking for a Asia base.

The project was initiated during the UDF government and after years of talk, it’s interesting to note the many terms&conditions the current LDF government has managed to turn around, into Kerala advantage:

1.) InfoPark, a government owned IT Park was supposed to be handed over to the Tecom.

Not sure why anyone would do this ? Sounds "I shall give you a lot of stuff for low cost and also give you a fully functional revenue generating enterprise for free."

2.) Other IT companies can come around Kochi now. Under the initial plan, it appears no new IT firms could start in Kochi, except within smart-city.

I guess UDF thought everything would end once this smart-city is in place? Never thought what after smart-city?

3.) The 246 acres of land would now be priced at Rs 104 crore (from Rs 26 crore fixed during UDF term)

Signs of early acceptance to get the project through?

4.) Under the new terms, this land would not be owned by Tecom but would be leased to them for 99 years.

Smart move from the government negotiators.

5.) The government stake in the project has gone up from 9% to 16%, which would further go up to 26% after 5years. Effectively this also means that the number of persons in the director board would go up from 1 to 3 in 5 years.

6.) The Chairman for the venture would be decided by the Government.

The above two terms is yet another smart move - this means more control over the govern ship of the project.

7.) The number of jobs the project should generate is now fixed at 90,000 in 10 years instead of the planned 33000 jobs after 7 years.

More the jobs, more the better for numerous unemployed graduates.

Another point worth noting is that the government could take over the project if the terms are not met. Much has been commented on the UDF haste to get the project signed during their term. But, for the moment, LDF appears to know its stuff and do well. It is going to be one great watch for all Keralites; when the first phase is completed in the year 2010.

God bless Kerala and her people.


Tomy said...

Atlast the LDF govt was able to manage the terms & conditions of the project in Kerala advantage
which is a very good news. Lets hope the project will be finished in the scheduled time. But again,
if the next is a UDF govt (the Kerala election history says it all), there is a chance the 'tecom' people
may come up with some other *great* ideas and the very intelligent (as they pretend to be) UDF
leaders may give whatever they can free of cost (except some money into the leaders pockets).

Nitin Stephen Koshy said...

Yes, but I believe the opposition then (LDF) would react good :)

Baliga said...

Bottom line - buy your property in Kochi NOW

Nitin Stephen Koshy said...

True Bali