Industry demands softer government policies

By : |January 2, 2002 0

Rahul Gupta

NEW DELHI: Since most of the countries are investing heavily to attract IT
companies from all over the world, IT companies in India want the government to
review its IT policies and make conducive atmosphere for the companies to
invest. Also as there are only two months left for the budget to be presented in
the Parliament and the companies are already facing the heat of the slowdown,
they are expecting favorable response from government.

Dubai Internet City (DIC) recently announced its decision to invest one
billion dollars in Middle East region by the year 2003 to provide and create a
platform for Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) companies around
the world, thereby helping them explore new business opportunities in the Middle

DIC has already invested $ 700 million and over 4500 knowledge workers are
presently working there. Also the Dubai Government has announced various
incentives for the participating companies, such as tax holidays, strong
intellectual property and cyber laws and grant of 100 per cent foreign ownership
to those interested in setting up ICT companies in Dubai.

Currently over 15 Indian firms are located in the DIC, most of which are SMEs.
The big firms located at the DIC include VXL, Wipro and Satyam, while Infosys
Technologies is located in Sharjah. Not only this, other countries like
Malaysia, Singapore and China have already attracted major IT companies by
giving them such incentives.

Nasscom president, Kiran Karnik said, "This is the time for us to learn
lessons from such initiatives. The government should provide us world class
infrastructure and make its policies flexible. If we want to become IT
superpower, we should learn a lesson from countries like China and Taiwan."

Experts are of the opinion that India should do something on the similar
pattern as DIC is doing but that is only possible with government support.
Though the government has done a lot for software sector, there is a lot to be
done for the hardware sector. Already in the grip of slowdown, these companies
are expecting some relief in taxes from the budget.

MAIT director, Vinnie Mehta said, "The Indian software companies have
already made their presence felt in middle east and rest of the world and they
will not migrate to these places but we should learn from such

Software industry is growing in India even in this slowdown phase therefore
it’s imperative for the government now to sustain growth made by software
industry and should take initiatives that make IT companies to invest in India
as other countries are doing. Also the government has to take certain measures
to boost hardware industry in India which is expecting sops for a long time.

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