The state government on Friday asked power distribution utilities (discoms) to exempt IT companies from power cuts, overruling objections by the AP Electricity Regulatory Commission (APERC).
Chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, at a review meeting with IT minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah and IT Department officials, directed the energy secretary to issue orders to all discoms to exempt the IT sector from statutory power cuts, and ensure uninterrupted supply to them.
The proposal to exempt IT firms from power cuts was submitted by the discoms to APERC three months ago, but the regulator rejected the idea.
At the review meeting, minister Lakshmaiah advocated making an exception for IT companies because their operational costs have spiralled on account of power cuts.
According to one senior official of an MNC located in Hi-Tec City, the current three-day power holiday imposed on industries has doubled the operational expenses of IT firms.
There are more than 1,000 small, mid and large IT firms operating in the state, generating over `35,000 crore in software exports.
The meeting was told that 12 Fortune 500 companies in the IT space, including HCL, Deloitte, Infotech Enterprises, Intergraph, iGate, Value Labs, OSI, Sify, Prithvi and Qualcomm, have expressed interest in setting up campuses in and around Hyderabad.
After due screening by the consultative committee on IT industry (CCITI), APIIC and HMDA have been asked to allot land to them in Raidurg and Kokapet.
Further, TCS intends to start operations in Adibatla by Sept.2013 with 10,000 staff initially and scaling up to 25,000 over the next two years.
The company has requested the government to set up a 220 KVA substation near its upcoming campus in Adibatla.
Similarly, Wipro is setting up its second campus in Gopannapally and has plans to hire over 10,000 software professionals.
The government has directed APIIC and the R&B Department to expedite the process of ramping up infrastructure at Gopanpalli.
The chief minister also directed officials to set up a committee to fix the cost of land to be allotted to IT companies.
It will be headed by the chief secretary and have the chief commissioner land administration (CLA), the principal secretary (finance), the IT secretary, the managing director of APPIIC, and the commissioner of HMDA, principal secretary finance and others as members.
The government also directed the HMDA commissioner to expedite the approval of building plans for IT companies in Kokapet.
To promote new investment in IT setor in tier-2 and tier-3 cities-- Warangal, Vijayawada, Tirupati, Visakhapatnam and Kakinada-- the IT Department proposed relaxation of the eligibility criteria laid down in the ICT Policy for 2010- 2015.
The chief minister agreed with the idea and directed the department to amend the policy.