Wednesday, September 02, 2009

State uploads mega plan for IT, City

State uploads mega plan for IT, City

Karnataka working on blueprint to boost IT sector with concessions and incentives

Hemanth Kumar & Praveena Sharma. Bangalore

Karnataka wants to turn Bangalore's big IT stride into a leap. It now wants to promote the hardware and semiconductor sectors, besides giving IT another booster shot. The models: China, Korea, Taiwan.
While experts reckon that the semiconductor business is a hard nut to fabricate, requiring a long-term strategy, a well-developed IT hardware cluster, hi-precision engineering and dollops of dollars, the state government has begun pushing the envelope.
Step 1 has already been taken. Chief minister BS Yeddyurappa is visiting China along with IT mavens to rake in the moolah for hardware and semiconductors. Roadshows will be kicked off in Shanghai and Beijing to hawk Karnataka as an investment showpiece—and a future hardware city. But how is Karnataka taking the IT leap within, and beyond, India's Silicon Valley?
New package: "I have had talks with the Union IT minister and have urged the Centre to come out with more attractive concessions and incentives for the further growth of IT. The state will announce a new package of incentives soon," IT minister Kattasubramanya Naidu told DNA.
Karnataka tops India in IT exports. Despite the downturn, "our IT exports were Rs74,000 crore a year," Naidu said. "We want to achieve software exports of over Rs1,00,000 crore in the next financial year."
Bangalore plus: "The state's IT policy is 10 years old and we are improving it further to spread the IT boom to Tiers-2 and 3 cities in the state. The likely incentives: IT gets an extended tax holiday, land without any bureaucratic hassles, and communication infrastructure at a concessional cost," principal secretary of IT Ashok Kumar Manoli said.
More jobs: The new policy would create at least 50,000 jobs in a year, Naidu said. The state has already interfaced with CISCO, Infosys and Wipro to take in their suggestions as well. Already, the government has cleared 400 acres of land allotted to Infosys a few years ago at Sarjapur. The land will soon be transferred to the IT major, Naidu said.


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