Govt Makes Efforts To Understand IT Concerns
At a time when the Indian IT industry has been increasingly getting shaky about the Government’s lack of understanding regarding taxation laws, a poor infrastructure and lack of improvement in the business environment, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Communications and IT Minister met senior leaders and top CEOs in the IT industry at an event was organized by IT body Nasscom and software product think tank Indian Software Product Industry Round Table (iSPIRT) to resolve some of these critical issues hampering the growth of the industry.
Creating an IT ecosystem
At the closed-door meeting, attended by Wipro Chairman Azim Premji; Microsoft India Chairman Bhaskar Pramanik; Microsoft Ventures Director Ravi Narayan; Infosys Delivery Excellence Head Srinath Batni; Mindtree Chief Executive Krishnakumar Natarajan; Mastek Founder Ashank Desai; and Info Edge Founder Sanjeev Bikhchandani, among others, IT leaders raised concerns on policies on doing business in the country as well as shared their ideas on strengthening the Indian IT ecosystem.
“Due to certain regulations, some companies can’t set up a payment gateway to process online transactions and are forced to open offices abroad,” said R Chandrashekhar, President of Nasscom. On his part, Prasad reiterated his Government’s intent to use more IT, encourage domestic manufacturing and make India a destination for making IT products.
While the government believes that India would miss out on the next growth wave if it does not aggressively embark on creating software products, it is also seeking incentives for companies to move to tier-II and -III towns.
Apart from creating a software products hub, Prasad discussed the importance of broadband connectivity. Currently, broadband is an area of concern in the country. A recent global Akamai report pegged India 85th in broadband connectivity. “The government has already laid out a vision of setting up Wi-Fi connectivity in most parts of India and laying a broadband network across 1 lakh panchayats by 2015,” said Prasad.
Nasscom members also have put forth recommendations to the Ministry to promote growth and global competitiveness of the $118-billion IT industry, build newer markets, focus on skill development, employment creation and encourage start-up companies.
Nasscom requested the IT minister to set up a Rs500 Crore programme called India Technology Entrepreneur Mission. The mission will help simplify regulations and taxation, enable funding, incubators and accelerators, catalyze skill development and innovation besides providing incentives and support for IP (intellectual property) creation.
Prasad said the government will be holding ‘IT panchayats’, with detailed discussions and feedback from key stakeholders on how to leverage IT and innovation for start-up ecosystems. He said there was a need to encourage investment in the segment as the future of the Indian IT industry would be driven by products.
According to some in the industry, if the government’s lofty goals need to be me, they should incorporate issues on power, water and infrastructure requirements as well. Currently these are also big concerns in remote and rural areas hindering India’s IT growth to an extent.
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