MPs heard on Tuesday that the state is now considering returning to their owners lands it previously appropriated to house a mooted tech-science park in Pentakomo, Limassol.
Discussing the lack of interest from investors so far, a commerce ministry official told legislators it was likely down to the unattractive location of the park.
This angered opposition MPs, who countered that the government was making up excuses for why the park project failed to get off the ground, and that the real reason lay in the rigid terms included in the tender documents.
They said the location pretext was simply a government ploy to get parliamentarians to release funds earmarked for a study on how to make use of a site that formerly housed the State Fairs in Nicosia.
It’s understood that the location of the State Fairs is being considered for a research or business centre.
The House commerce committee decided to revisit the matter at a future session, where they will be inviting the new junior minister for innovation, the commerce minister as well as representatives of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency.
MPs want clear answers as to whether the government still intends to create a science and technology park or if the plans have been scrapped.
The original plan for the project was approved by the Tassos Papadopoulos government in February 2006, with the aim of diversifying the economy by turning Cyprus into a centre for software development and hi-tech business. Officials had even talked up the prospect of Microsoft participating in the venture, while internet search engine giant Google had also been mentioned.
In July 2015 the cabinet approved the framework for the creation and operation of the park.
In May 2017 the commerce ministry rejected the sole tender submitted by that time.