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$30-bn IT aid to create 9 lakh jobs in US

January 06, 2009 18:01 IST
Global software major International Business Machines' chief executive Samuel Palmisano believes the government's $30-billion information technology investments may create over 900,000 jobs, a media report says.

"IBM's CEO Samuel Palmisano advised the Obama transition team last month that $30 billion in government investments in expanding broadband access, computerising healthcare records and improving the electrical grid could create over 900,000 jobs in the US," The Wall Street Journal said.

The presentation by IBM had come in response to a request from the Obama advisers for an analysis of the job-creation impact of IT investments, the report stated.

Palmisano had made the presentation at a conference with transition team members, including Carol Browner, who has been named the White House Coordinator of Energy and Climate policy and Julius Genachowski, a top technology adviser for the president-elect.

However, the report stated that it was unclear how much of the advice would be incorporated into a two-year stimulus plan that the Obama team and lawmakers are working on.

Besides, Obama aides have said elements of the plan would include some traditional infrastructure spending and tax relief.

IBM's vice president for governmental programmes Chris Caine said that after the election, the Obama's transition team asked the company to provide analysis of whether investing in IT infrastructure could help stimulate job creation.

The software firm worked with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington think-tank, to analyse job-creation possibilities in areas like broadband, healthcare IT and smart grid technologies for making electric power more efficient.

The Journal said that according to its research, $10 billion investment in broadband networks to provide high-speed Internet access to areas that lack it, would create 498,000 new jobs in a year and another $10-billion investment in computerising healthcare records and other health-related IT work would create 212,000 jobs.

The government investment would come on top of $30 billion in public and private investment in healthcare IT already slated for this year, the Journal said.

Further, IBM also calculated that $10 billion invested in equipment that allows electric utilities to monitor their transmission infrastructure more closely would create 239,000 jobs, it added.

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