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Government to include manufacturing sectors in new ITES policy

The Maharashtra government has decided to make its new ITES policy more investor-friendly by including manufacturing related to IT and telecommunications in it.

The Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) policy is to be implemented from April next year.

The present IT policy, the term of which expired in October this year, was given an extension till March 2015. The earlier policy had come into existence in 2009.

“The new policy that we have planned will not only be related to the IT sector, but IT-enabled services will also be included in it,” said Rajesh Aggarwal, Principal Secretary of the state IT department.

Industries Minister Subhash Desai said a rough draft of the new policy will be made public in January 2015, to incorporate viable suggestions.

“We have been holding several meetings to discuss different aspects of our new policy. We seek to make a draft of this policy open for public from January onwards, so that we can take note of reactions and incorporate viable suggestions in it,” Desai said.

“We are banking on IT giants like Infosys, TISCO and NASSCOM to give us suggestions. They will help us make our policy industry-friendly,” he said.

Though the major features of the policy have yet to be finalised, the focus will be on ensuring that power is made available to the IT Industry at cheap rate, the Minister said.

“Investors who are interested in setting up IT firms in cities like Nagpur are asking us to minimise power tariffs. Currently, states like Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are providing power at a cost of Rs. 4.50 per unit, while Maharashtra provides power at Rs. 6.50 per unit.

“We aim to reduce tariffs by at least Rs. 1 per unit that will enhance the feasibility of the industry by at least 20 per cent,” he said.

Aggarwal said that despite India being one of the biggest consumers of mobile phones in the world, the companies are not focusing on manufacturing their handsets in the country.

“Even companies that claim to be manufacturing phones in the country import internal parts from either China or other countries. We should focus on making our policy such that mobile manufacturing companies find it beneficial to produce mobile parts in our state. This will also give a push to our ‘Make in Maharashtra’ policy,” he said.

As of now, Pune is considered to be the state’s IT hub while Mumbai is considered to be the international data centre for BPO companies, he said.

The BPOs do not hesitate to invest even Rs. 500 crore in Mumbai, as they feel the land value is the real asset. But then, if they invest this money in some other city, they will save on land acquisition. This will ultimately de-escalate their costs, Aggarwal said.

“Which is why, we want to de-centralise the IT industry’s from Pune and Mumbai to cities like Nashik, Aurangabad and Nagpur,” he added.

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