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Sibal initiates a new IT policy

For the first time, the government is formulating a National IT Policy and National Electronic Hardware Policy. Manoj Gairola reports.

business Updated: May 19, 2011 23:12 IST
Manoj Gairola
Manoj Gairola
Hindustan Times

For the first time, the government is formulating a National IT Policy and National Electronic Hardware Policy.

Communications and IT minister Kapil Sibal has asked the secretary of the department of information technology (DIT) to formulate the policy. The IT policy will focus on developing IT products in India.

In order to increase manufacturing in India, the minister has also asked the department of information technology secretary to formulate National Electronics Policy. The aim is to encourage manufacturing in India.

India is considered as an IT superpower. The size of Indian IT industry is $76 billion. "However, almost all the revenue comes from software services and BPO," said an official of DIT. "We are not able to move up in the value chain and launch our own software products. Through the new policy such issues will be addressed."

“India takes pride in its IT and telecom. However, the fact is that there is no made-in-India software and there is no made in India IT and telecom equipment. Everything is imported,” said BK Syngal, former CMD of VSNL (now Tata Communications).

Similarly, the demand for telecom equipment in India was R54,765 crore in 2009-2010, according to telecom regulatory authority of India (TRAI).

This is projected to grow to R96,514 crore in 2015.

“The contribution of all telecom products towards meeting the country’s demand for telecom equipment has only been 12% -13% in the year 2009-2010 while Indian products could meet just 3% of the Indian demand,” said TRAI in its report on Indian manufacturing. This means that about 97% of the demand of telecom equipment is met through import. Similarly, all other electronic equipment and component are imported in India.

The National Hardware Policy will focus on all the Electronic products including telecom and IT hardware. The national IT policy and the national electronics hardware policy are expected to be finalised by the end of this year, said sources.

First Published: May 19, 2011 21:06 IST