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Turnaround in PC sales

New Delhi, Jan. 10: Personal computer (PC) sales are projected to cross 2 million units this fiscal, a 20 per cent year-on-year growth. The turnaround in PC sales this year — which is being attributed to a surge in consumption by industry, e-governance and digital divide initiatives of the central and state governments — has prompted MAIT to ratchet up the growth projection from 15 per cent to 20 per cent.

Strong PC sales signal a rebound in the IT hardware market, says MAIT which today announced the findings of its industry performance review for the first-half of financial year 2002-03. The review showed that desktop PC market grossed 9.5 lakh units registering a growth of 18 per cent over the same period in the previous year.

The turnaround in PC sales has been attributed in part to increased consumption by industry verticals such as telecom, banking and financial services, manufacturing and IT-enabled services.

MAIT executive director Vinnie Mehta said: “While the mood in the industry is upbeat today, there is a pressing need to bring down the prices of IT products. MAIT has a single point agenda for the forthcoming Union budget: reduction in excise duty to 8 per cent (or 6 per cent if the government adopts the excise duty structure as recommended by the Kelkar Committee) from the existing 16 per cent.”

There was a 10 per cent growth in desktop computers during the second-half of 2001-02 — a year that was plagued by severe recessionary trends in the Indian economy and had also adversely impacted the hardware market. With the buying sentiment in the market now improving, MAIT has revised its PC sales projections. During the financial year 2001-02, the IT hardware industry had sold 1.67 million personal computers.

Releasing the findings of the study, MAIT president S. Devarajan said: “Though the country witnessed an economic slowdown last year, the IT market is back on track with the economic recovery this year. This will boost the morale of the IT industry in India, especially those focused on the domestic market.”

“While most government departments at the Centre and states have earmarked 2-3 per cent of their annual budgets for IT spending, we are yet to see it happening. The plans launched by states for e-governance need to gather momentum,” he added.

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