VIJAYAWADA: The visit of Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath to Singapore to participate in the India-Singapore Business Innovation Summit assumed significance as it is being speculated that the State delegation may also discuss the issue of the proposed development of Start-up area in the capital region by a Singapore Consortium.
Though the schedule of the delegation hasn’t been disclosed, sources in the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) said that information pertaining to the government-to-government agreement was given to the government, indicating that the project, the fate of which is hanging in balance, may come up for discussion.
Rajendranath Reddy, along with Additional Chief Secretary to Chief Minister PV Ramesh and Principal Finance Secretary SS Rawat, reached the island nation and called on India’s High Commissioner to Singapore Jawed Ashraf on Sunday. “The details of the agreement between the State and the consortium were given to the government ahead of the delegation’s visit to Singapore,” a source said.
In this context, it is being expected that the delegation may also hold parleys with the representatives of Singapore government to inform the State’s plans and strategy. However, there is no official confirmation. With the YSRC government cancelling several projects awarded by APCRDA in the previous term, uncertainty looms large on the proposed development of start-up area for which Singapore firms were selected under Swiss Challenge method.
An agreement was signed in June, 2018, but the project remained a non-starter. Sources in the government claimed that the consortium expressed readiness to exit the project amicably, even though there is an arbitration clause, which could be settled in London.
The Singapore government too is closely watching the developments in the State and the same was informed by its in-charge Trade Minister S Iswaran in Singapore Parliament last week. “The new State government of Andhra Pradesh that took office on May 30 is reviewing its plans for capital city project, amidst its other priorities...The Singapore Consortium companies are closely following these developments and evaluating the impact on investment opportunities,” he said on September 3.