Tamil Nadu Information Technology Minister M Manikandan today informed the Assembly that the government was taking steps to facilitate setting up a centre of Google in the State. Intervening DMK member I Periasamy who was speaking on the debate on Demand for grants to Industries Department, the Minister said the government was trying to facilitate a meeting either in Singapore or USA with Google Inc to take forward the proposal. The talks, proposed with Google CEO Sundar Pichai (or officials of the firm) were to look at the feasibility of opening a facility of Google in Chennai or Madurai, he added. He, however, did not elaborate on the kind of facility that was being contemmplated. When Periasamy and TRB Rajaa, another DMK legislator raised the issue of car maker KIA Motors choosing Andhra Pradesh instead of Tamil Nadu, Industries Minister M C Sampath said the State government had offered the firm a comprehensive package which included land.
“It was a policy decision of the company to go to Andhra Pradesh,” he said. In May, the State government had said that the auto major had acted on its own accord in moving to Andhra Pradesh. The Korean auto-major’s decision to set up its greendfield unit in Andhra Pradesh was based on its “internal policy” the government had then said. The State Industries Department had in June-July 2016 invited KIA Motors to set up a factory in Tamil Nadu when it was scouting for locations in the country to establish a manufacturing facility. “The Government of Tamil Nadu offered a structured package of support including land, power, water, fiscal incentives and single window facilitation to the company”, the government had said.
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Continuing, Sampath said Tamil Nadu attracted Foreign Direct Investment worth Rs 1,25,970 crore between 2011 and 2016 which was a 263 per cent growth for this period in getting FDI. Citing Central government statistics, he said between April 2011 and December 2016, the State attracted over one lakh crore investments. From May 2011 to December 2016, the FDI which was attracted marked a investment growth rate of a new high, touching 263 per cent, he said. Winding up the debate on Demand for grants to his portfolio, Sampath said out of the 98 MoUs that were signed during GIM 2015, work has begun in respect of 61 of them which are totally worth about Rs 62,738 crore. “So far Rs 29,615 has been invested (in such projects) and 76,271 persons have got employment,” he noted and added that projects of firms including Microsoft and Samsung have taken off already. The government was monitoring execution of all other projects covered under the MoUs.