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November 24, 1997


Industry puts up new recommendations for AP govt

The Special Interest Group in Andhra Pradesh, formed at the initiative of the Hyderabad Software Exporters' Association for promoting the information technology industry in Andhra Pradesh, has made 13 recommendations to the state government.

Software Technology Park of Hyderabad Director J A Chowdary said these recommendations were made by a committee set up by the SIG under his leadership after a close study of IT industries in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

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Of these 13, 10 are under implementation by the Karnataka government.

The highlight of these is the suggestion to identify additional centres of growth for the IT industry such as Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupati and build infrastructure in these cities.

The second is to upgrade the quality levels of the existing cities by setting up international airports, providing express highways, captive power stations and high-speed data communication facilities.

It was also recommended to provide waiver in the fee towards registration of land for setting up IT shops.

On the power front, the committee recommended that APSEB should identify certain areas in Hyderabad where there is a concentration of IT industry and provide continuous power by laying dedicated feeder cables.

"The industry should be treated as an industrial user and tariff as applicable to industrial users should be levied for all the software companies in the state instead of commercial tariff rate as is currently being done,'' it said.

The committee added that captive power generating sets installed by the IT companies should be eligible for exemption from payment of electricity tax and also be exempted from sales tax on the fuel used by the captive power generating sets.

On the finance front, the committee recommended that the government, through its banking institutions, can provide necessary assistance to all entrepreneurs who set up units in the state by providing term loans and working capital loans at lower interest rates and without cumbersome procedures.

It also recommended setting up a venture capital fund to help new entrepreneurs meet their requirements, besides seeking exemption from payment of entry tax; sales tax on all purchases of IT industry in the state for infrastructure such as generator sets, computers, furniture, office equipment, air-conditioner equipment and the like.

On manpower development, the committee also suggested that the colleges and universities be improved by providing better infrastructure, resource persons and a platform for continuous upgradation of the curriculum.

It also recommended that all recognised schools and colleges in the state have Internet connectivity through a high-speed backbone data connection and to provide distance education for upgrading the quality of education in these institutions.

The last recommendation was that the incentives provided by the government through the proposed IT policy may be applicable to the companies which adopt at least one of the recognised institutions in the state for upgrading the quality of IT education.

The SIG would meet often and discuss the issues related to the IT industry and make suggestions on how to overcome the bottlenecks.

- Compiled from the Indian media

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