The signing of MoU with the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) on smart city is a unique opportunity for the State to work along with companies of the U.S., Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has said.
Inviting the U.S. companies visiting the city as part of the Smart Cities Infrastructure Mission to India, he points out that the Indian market provides plenty of opportunities for investment. There is a very large market waiting to be tapped, he says. Offering an investor-friendly atmosphere and administration, the Chief Minister has said that the government will facilitate the companies willing to work here.
The USTDA signed a MoU with the Department of Municipal Administration on funding for drawing up master plan for Visakhapatnam Smart City, and a consortium of three U.S. companies, comprising AECOM, KPMG, and IBM, was given the task by the government on Friday. Taking it forward from the conceptual stage to implementation stage, the Chief Minister said there would be set milestones and timelines and periodic evaluation of outcomes of the project.
In the first phase, the USTDA would be funding to the extent of $1.4 million for drawing up of the master plan for the Smart City. The companies too have committed to fund the project and, if required, the USTDA may provide additional funding, USTDA Director Leocadia I Zak said. The MoU was signed by Principal Secretary, Municipal Administration, Karikal Velavan, and country manager of USTDA Heather K Lanigan in the presence of Mr. Chandrababu Naidu and Director, USTDA, Leocadia I Zak.
US Ambassador to India Richard R. Verma, Municipal Administration Minister P. Narayana, Panchayati Raj Minister Ch. Ayyanna Patrudu, HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao, Chief Secretary S.P. Tucker, GVMC Commissioner Pravin Kumar, MLAs, MLCs, and a host of officials were present on the occasion. He elaborated upon the opportunities being thrown up for companies in the new State of Andhra Pradesh. Earlier in the day, Mr. Tucker explained in detail the investment opportunities in different sectors and how the absence of a capital was being turned into an opportunity in the construction sector.