IT entrepreneurs are upbeat about the announcements made by the Finance Minister.

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Sheikh Imtiaz Ahmed is the CEO at Comtech, a leading e-governance company of the state. His businessstrategy has been to leverage e-governance project portfolio of various state governments. The company has worked on projects in states including Rajasthan, Bihar, UP, and Haryana apart from the home state of J&K. He is however excited about the prospect of startup fund announced in the budget. “The trend in the country is changing. Previously we relied heavily on outsourcing and government projects. But now startups are coming up with niche and innovative solutions. A startup ecosystem of Venture Capitalists, Angel Funds, Incubators, and Growth Accelerators is flourishing in tier 1 cities. It is refreshing to witness that trend being reciprocated by our state Finance Minister. We will work with the Finance Ministry to best utilize the start up fund in the IT sector,” said Sheikh Imtiaz Ahmed.

Shaikh Qaiser un Nabi is CEO at Wireless Solutions Pvt Ltd, a communications solutions provider. His company lays underground fibre and has to pay Rs. 200 per meter as permission fee. “If you are a local service provider and want to put in your own fibre, just the permission fee would cost you 50 to 60 percent of your cost of infrastructure. That is huge. With the proposed waiver of that fee, the local companies can also build their optical fibre network infrastructure,” said Shaikh Qaiser un Nabi. The permission for laying fibre is sanctioned by various different authorities including Municipalities, R&B, and Beacon. Laying a single wire of fibre from Srinagar to Anantnag costs between Rs.1 crore to Rs. 1.2 crore greatly impacting the feasibility of the venture.

Inderpal Singh is CEO at Aman Technologies, an IT Systems Integrator. He is particularly upbeat about the prospect of the Joint Venture announced in the budget. The proposed initiative shall also help speed up e-governance projects in the State. “We have to iron out the specifics of this proposed JV. If we get the model right, it will be a game changer,” said Inderpal Singh.

Reyaz Ahmad Mir is CEO at CNS 24×7, the valley’s leading Internet Service Provider. CNS 24×7 serves around 600 business customers providing them bandwidth connectivity solutions. The proposed 50 percent subsidy on bandwidth connectivity for IT companies is a shot in the arm. “We serve around 15 IT companies right now, but the scope is huge. With this subsidy clause we can expand our customer base in the IT vertical which is closer to heart. I would however suggest that JAKEGA or some other agency in the government empanel ISPs or have an approved list of ISPs from whom the companies could procure bandwidth in order to avail the subsidies,” says Reyaz Ahmad Mir.

 

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