SRINAGAR: The state IT industry, which was described as an important sunrise industry in the state by the Finance Minster during his budget speech, has expressed great satisfaction for the initiatives announced in the state budget. The Finance Minister announced the following initiatives for the IT industry in the state budget:
- An offer of Joint Venture opportunity to states top 10 IT companies with Rs. 10 crore set aside by the state government as investment in the JV
- Waiver of permission fee for sanctioning right of way for laying optic fibre cables
- 50 per cent subsidy on bandwidth for connectivity to IT firms
- 50 per cent concession on Quality Certification and Patent filing charges.
- There are also other aspects of the budget 2016-17which the IT industry expects to leverage to the fullest. These include:
- A start-up fund of Rs. 5 crore.
- Viability Gap Funding for PPP project partners
This is for the first time IT industry of the state has been discussed in the budget. The state IT industry had a turnover of Rs.337 crore during the last financial year and employs nearly 13 thousand youth. Despite sustained advocacy since 2009 through the industry forum ICTA (Information and Communications Technology Association of J&K), the sector has not received any recognition or patronage by the state government.
IT has remained an orphaned sector for a long time. There have been some piecemeal initiatives from the government in the past. However they all fell by the side. This budget puts us on the radar. We will build upon this. We truly applaud the initiatives announced for the IT industry by the Finance Minister, said Jahangir Raina, Chairman ICTA. ICTA has been demanding setting up of promotional cell for IT industry. It hopes to find resonance among the concerned authorities.
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