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Entrepreneurs set high hopes

Exercise on consultation is over, finishing touches are being given

Entrepreneurs set high hopes

Entrepreneurs set high hopes 

Visakhapatnam EVEN as the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress Party Government in Andhra Pradesh is giving finishing touches to the New IT Policy, entrepreneurs in the field are panning high hopes that a lot of sops will be doled out to them for undertaking Greenfield and Brownfield investments.

After carving out the new State in 2014 amid pandemonium both in Parliament and outside, AP was left with only Visakhapatnam which had IT and IT enabled services units with a turnover of about Rs1500 crore. Conduent, an American company is on expansion spree at Millennium Tower, whereas all others including HSBC, Wipro, Tech Mahindra and Wipro are either on rightsizing or downsizing due to fallout of Covid-19 pandemic preceded by a long spell of economic slowdown.

Not a single unit with major investment has come to AP in the IT area due to an uncertain situation and ambiguity with the approach of the new government for the investors. Now IT and Industries Minister Mekapati Gowtham Reddy has already indicated that a comprehensive policy will be unveiled soon. The policy for which consultation from the stakeholders was sought earlier, is almost ready. It has been approved by the Cabinet Sub-Committee a few days ago. The government has already released the Electronics Policy.

"We expect the IT Policy to encourage new investments as well as the existing entrepreneurs to go for Brownfield expansion. It will be better if small and medium entrepreneurs, mostly locals, are encouraged in a big way for creating job opportunities for the youth," IT Association of AP (ITAAP) president Sridhar Kosaraju told Bizz Buzz.

During the consultation, many entrepreneurs sought efforts to bring major companies to enhance brand name of AP like Telangana. Already there is buzz that the government is trying to rope in Microsoft, TCS, Infosys and other big players for major investment in the State by offering customised incentives.

The Rushikonda IT Park Association RITPA has sought initiatives to encourage local investors to undertake expansion. RITPA vice-president O Naresh Kumar said they wanted higher bandwidth at a lesser price.

"In the United States IT units get five times more speed at half of Indian price. What is important to bring investments is quality and price," he remarked.

He said power should be supplied at Rs.5 per unit by removing minimum demand charges. Computer prices should be reduced and be made on par with the systems available in the US and Singapore.

Stipend should be offered by the government directly to the new employees during probationary period to encourage entrepreneurship.

Mr. Naresh Kumar said GST on domestic software should be brought down from 18 to 5%. Government should also bear part of capital expenditure being spent by small and medium enterprises.

Santosh Patnaik
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