The Kerala government has appointed Ernst & Young (India) to prepare a masterplan for the second phase growth of Technopark, the IT infrastructure showpiece of Kerala. Speaking to mediapersons here, Technopark chief executive officer Rajiv Vasudevan said the brief for the consultants would also cover the possibility of attracting private investment for the purpose.
The state industry & IT minister PK Kunanhalikutty confirmed that the government was open to the idea of private participation for the expansion of Technopark.
He also said that the Kerala government would soon unveil a business process outsourcing (BPO) policy providing fiscal incentives like capital investment subsidy, interest subsidy, etc to companies setting up their venture in the state. The fiscal incentives will be linked with the employment generated by each company, he added. The minister also said that the government would set up a BPO park in Kochi with private participation. The expected investment in this venture is Rs 250 crore. The government is also setting up a ‘ITES habitat centre’ in Kochi to provide ITES training.
However, the minister was unable to provide any concrete figures on the quantum of investment or the number of companies that have set up business in IT sector in the state during the past one year.
“We are talking with major players like Wipro, Infosys, GE Caps, TCS, etc. But it is too early to make any announcements in this regard,” the minister added.
The total investments in IT and software services sector in Kerala during the past three years was in the range of Rs 200 crore, senior officials accompanying the minister said. The total software services export from the units registered in STPI (software technology parks of India) in the state was around Rs 250 crore in the last financial year.
The hardware exports from the state was to the tune of Rs 450 crore in the same period. The government is also expected to announce a biotech policy shortly, the minister said.
Meanwhile, Ernst and Young (Middle East) has commenced operations of its offshore development centre at Technopark with 25 people. E&Y (Middle East) is expected to transfer substantial portion of its software development and ITES to its facility in Technopark campus.
The Technopark having a built up space of 1.4 million sq ft is having 65 per cent occupancy at present and the remaining portion would be occupied in the next 18 to 24 months.