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Centre-IT leaders to discuss vital issues

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CIOL Bureau
New Update

BANGALORE: The government is planning to discuss with leaders of the

information technology (IT) industry issues like tariff, regulatory mechanism,

venture capital funding (VCF) and other steps needed to attain the production

target of $137 billion and exports of $60 billion by 2008.

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Among a few others, the discussion committee would also include the country's

wealthiest man Azim Premji of Wipro, who will meet in Delhi to counsel IT

minister Pramod Mahajan on these vital issues at the first meeting of the

recently constituted national advisory committee on IT.

''Issues likely to figure for discussion include communication tariff,

regulatory framework for e- commerce, promotion of foreign direct investment and

VCF" an official statement said. The committee would also devise a strategy

to attract $16 billion investment needed in the hardware sector alone by 2008,

to meet the expected equipment shortfall of $160 billion, it said.

Among other key issues on the agenda, it would also include measures to spur

hardware sector growth by addressing infrastructure, cost of finance and tariff

structure related issues, since hardware exports are said to reach $10 billion

in the next eight years against a dismal $0.4 billion at present, it said. While

the software sector has been showing phenomenal growth in recent years, the

advisory committee would also discuss ways to achieve an ambitious $60 billion

software export target by 2008, the statement said. Also on the agenda are

promotion of brand equity, capital account convertability, simplification of

customs procedures, electronic governance and increased PC penetration, it said.

The committee would also discuss collaborative efforts between government and

private sector, including support for introduction of new educational

technologies, developing specialized programmes and upgradation of trainee

skills. On its part, the industry representatives are likely to raise issues

such as liberalizing norms for merger and acquisitions abroad, taxation of stock

options, ADR link stock options, withholding tax on software imports and uniform

rate of sales tax on it products, the release said.

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