Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on Monday has said that the newly formed Andhra Pradesh government is reviewing the master plan for capital city Amaravati which was developed by a Singapore-based consortium. He added that they deserved to be given time for doing so. This comes after a question about the Amaravati project being dead was asked to the minister by international lawyer Tommy Kooh during the Next Phase of Strategic Partnership session in Singapore.
Balakrishnan replied to Kooh's question saying, "There is a new state government in Andhra Pradesh, formed on May 30.
"All governments are entitled to review their plans. The Singapore consortium companies have informed me that they will wait for the decisions of the new Andhra government." Balakrishnan has said.
He also clarified that no Singapore government grants or subsidies were made for the Amaravati project, calling it a complete "private sector, and commercial decision".
The minister also addressed the delay in finalisation of the project. He said, "In all commercial activities, political and regulatory risks need to be taken into account. It is also the prerogative of the local governments to adjust their plans and priorities from time to time.
"I would also submit that the government needs to consider the signal they send to investors. In the case of Singapore, we remained a highly competitive economy because we have provided for the long term a stable and predictable environment for investors both local and foreign. Let us give time to the new government in Andhra on the Amaravati capital city project," Balakrishnan added.
After Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated in 2014, the then ruling Telugu Desam Party zeroed in on Krishna and Guntur districts for the state capital, naming it Amaravati, as the former state capital was part of newly formed Telangana. However, five years on, Amaravati city is yet to be formally notified as a state capital. Amaravati still remains a cluster of 25 revenue villages even as dark clouds loom over the capital city's development.
Earlier in 2014, the Naidu government had sought Singapore's help in creating the master plan for Amaravati. They had inked pacts with Singapore Consortium for Start-up Area development in Amaravati. A consortium of Ascendas-Singbridge and Sembcorp corporation was awarded through a competitive Swiss challenge to form a joint venture with the Andhra government to master develop the capital using green and sustainable solutions.
(with PTI inputs)