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.
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.