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October 27, 1999
Indian software exports have grown 37 per cent in the first six months of fiscal 1999-2000, according to the Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council.
''Software exports for the April-September period are Rs 10,370 crore (Rs 103.7 billion) and the target for the entire year is Rs 23,615 crore (Rs 236.15 billion),'' ESC Chairman Vivek Singhal has said.
''This will accelerate implementation of government policies in a coordinated manner to achieve the national goal of $50 billion exports in IT by 2008,'' he said.
The proposed information technology bill is expected to promote electronic commerce and define cyber laws.
Singhal said the focus would now be on widening the export base to thousands of 'small and medium enterprises'. ''A large number of these SMEs are technically competent to enter the export market but lack information and marketing support,'' he said.
Developing a national Internet backbone for high speed would help widen the export base. This backbone would allow competitive access to the principal export markets of the USA and Canada in North America, UK, Germany, France and Italy in Europe.
ESC would take steps to correct the imbalance in the growth of IT as much as 80 per cent of the IT industry is concentrated in South India. The central government is taking steps to promote IT in the northern states as well.
''Rs 300 crore (Rs 3 billion) outlay for the IIIT in Allahabad is a step in that direction,'' Singhal said. He is closely associated with the initiative.
He said as an initiative to promote interaction with the $100 billion Southeast Asian region IT market, ESC is hosting the next general assembly of Southeast Asia Information Technology Organisation later this year in New Delhi.
Founded in June 1988, SITO is devoted to promotion of IT industry in Southeast Asia.
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