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Franklin Templeton project in Vizag hangs in balance

No progress on global asset management co’s venture for 3 yrs; No communication so far between trouble-ridden firm and AP govt

Franklin Templeton to distribute another tranche of Rs 1,115cr to investors

Franklin Templeton to distribute another tranche of Rs 1,115cr to investors

Visakhapatnam: NO progress even after three years of launching its facility in a humble way in Visakhapatnam, the main commercial hub of Andhra Pradesh has led to the belief that the establishment of a development center by Franklin Templeton, a global asset management company, in an area of 40 acres has been shelved.

Though part of land has been earmarked in the Knowledge Park proposed in 300 acres on Hill No 4 of Madhurawada, a senior official of APIIC told Bizz Buzz that as of now they have not received any intimation on their decision to opt out of setting up of campus in the city.

Franklin Templeton India was in trouble for sometime after which it closed six mutual fund schemes citing redemption pressure and lack of liquidity.

When contacted, Rushikonda IT Park Association (RITPA) vice-president O Naresh Kumar said on Sunday that "as there is no progress in their project till date, for all practical purposes they have dropped their investment plan in the city in a big way."

According to sources, the insistence by the YSRCP Government to allot land at a concessional rate and the changed economic scenario and their scaling down operations in India have led to backing out from establishing big ticket projects with a promise to recruit high-end business professionals.

During the TDP regime, a GO was issued allotting land at the rate of Rs32.5 lakh per acre. "Now, we are giving the same land at Rs1 crore," the APIIC official pointed out. In the proposed knowledge park, the government has given land to Adani Group for establishing a data technology centre and business hub. A notification was issued sometime ago seeking expression of interest for development of sentinel towers by APIIC and an industry enablement centre. The area designated for Knowledge Park is close to Rushikonda IT Special Economic Zone and Kapulappada, where 200 acres of developed layout, proposed for IT City during TDP regime, may be used for construction of some of the buildings required for making Visakhapatnam the executive capital of the State. At the time of its operations at Tech Mahindra building here in 2018, Franklin Templeton management had declared that the Vizag facility will serve as a Center of Innovation and one of the key tech hubs for Franklin Templeton Investments globally, focusing on building core competencies in investment management data science with a view to gain information advantage and drive investment out-performance. The firm had stated that it will look to leverage its strategic investment pool to invest in disruptive companies and launch vertical disruptors through a rapid development process where 'concept to prototype to design/development' will be nurtured in an expedient manner.

Santosh Patnaik
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