Hyderabad: More than two-and-a-half years after it was mooted, the Centre finally gave "in principle" approval to the Andhra Pradesh government's proposal for setting up an Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR) around the city, giving a much-needed boost to the state's efforts to attract fresh investments into the industry.
     
The ITIR would be developed in an area of 202 sq km (50,000 acres) in two phases over a period of 25 years. The ITIR is aimed at attracting an investment of Rs 2.19 lakh crore in the ITTES sectors and create direct employment for 15 lakh youths, according to state Information Technology Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah.
     
"ITIR is a combination of production units, public utilities, logistic, environment protection mechanism, residential areas and administrative services. ITIRs would include Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Industrial Parks, Free Trade Zones, Warehousing zones, Export-Oriented Units, growth centres, existing settlements/industries and estates/services," the Minister told newsmen here this afternoon after receiving a communication from the Centre.
     
While neighbouring states Odisha and Karnataka too competed for the ITIR, AP was the first to secure in principle approval from the Centre.
     
The ITIR is expected to boost IT exports from AP from Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 2.35 lakh crore while the electronic hardware manufacturing sector is expected to grow from the current level of Rs 6,000 crore to Rs 80,000 crore, according to the minister.
     
"Direct employment will grow five times from the current three lakh to 15 lakh while indirect employment will be in the order of 50 lakh. Built-up space will rise from the present 40 million sqft to 130 million sqft," Lakshmaiah said.

(Agencies)

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