In what could be seen as great step forward for the Indian startup ecosystem, India's Andhra Pradesh government yesterday locked in a lucrative deal with Singapore that includes developing a 6.84 km area in the capital city of Amaravati as a startup area in planned phases.

According to Andhra Pradesh (AP) Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, the deal, which has laid the foundation stone of Amaravati as a startup area, is one of the various steps that the government is taking towards making the city the most livable city in the Indian subcontinent. Promoting the ‘people first’ concept, the government is aiming to make Amaravati at par with Singapore and international living standards.

The pact between the governments of Singapore and Andhra Pradesh includes economic development and master development of the 6.84 km startup area in Amaravati besides promotion of investments and bilateral trade, and enhancing the capacities of the government departments.

In order for the project to go through smoothly and get implemented timely, a high Level Joint Implementation Steering Committee (JISC) is being formed, which will be co-chaired by AP Chief Minister, Government of AP and Minister for Trade & Industry, Government of Singapore. In addition to this, a joint Implementation Working Committee (JIWC) has also been proposed which will have senior officials from both the Andhra Pradesh government and Singapore government.

The Andhra Pradesh government is known to have already given a green signal to the proposals submitted by the Singapore Consortium for the development of the Amaravati startup area under the Swiss Challenge method. The consortium — Ascendas-Singbridge Private Limited and Sembcorp Design — will develop the area along with the Amaravati Development Corporation (ADC), and the two will be forming a special purpose vehicle (SPV), Amaravati Development Partner (ADP) for the same.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed, the Singapore consortium will have an equity participation of Rs 306 crore (58 per cent) while the ADC will have Rs 222 crore participation (42 per cent).

The ADP will be developing an area of 1,691 acres, in a time period of 15 years in three phases of 5 years each. Once developed, more than 1.25 lakh families are expected to live in the core capital area, with the creation of 2,50,000 jobs, and the contribution to GSDP is expected to be around Rs 1,15,000 crore.

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