Ford Motor Company is in the process of setting up a Research and Development (R&D) centre here, the first such facility to be located outside of the US, Finance Minister O Panneerselvam told the House today. In his Budget address, he said after the Global Investors’ Meet here last year, several other companies have been setting up their facilities in southern Tamil Nadu. “Due to the impetus on growth of IT industries in southern Tamil Nadu, Honeywell, HCL Technologies, Zoho Corporation and Syntel are establishing their facilities there,” he said.
Panneerselvam also said software exports have risen steadily at around 10-12 per cent per annum with Chennai being a hub for IT and ITeS companies. “In 2015-16, software export is expected to have touched Rs 95,000 crore,” he said.
Stating that the government has taken key steps for improving the ease of doing business, he said multiple incentives including capital and tax subsidies and infrastructure in the form of industrial parks and power supply have been provided. “After the Global Investors’ Meet so far, investments totalling Rs 23,258 crore have materialised and have generated employment for 48,145 persons,” he said. He said the Japan International Co-operation Agency has agreed to fund the second phase of the Tamil Nadu Investment Promotion Programme with an outlay of Rs 1,560 crore to improve the investment environment. Referring to other initiatives, Panneerselvam said State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu (SIPCOT) has been taking efforts for creating a land bank of 19,000 acres in southern districts including Ramanathapuram and Pudukottai for promoting industrial growth.
SIPCOT has also initiated action for implementing Madurai-Thoothukudi Industrial Corridor (MTIC) Project by forming a Special Purpose Vehicle and it has expedited the land acquisition process.
The government was also in the process of developing Ponneri (a town north of Chennai in Tiruvallur District) Industrial Node as a National Investment and Manufacturing Zone under the Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor Project, he pointed out.