Bengal IT minister Partha Chatterjee with IT secretary A. Subbiah in Calcutta on Wednesday. Picture by Kishor Roy Chowdhury
Calcutta, Sept. 19: Information technology firms have stressed the need for adequate infrastructure and bandwidth to make Bengal’s new IT policy a success.
A procurement policy supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) has also found its place on the list of demands.
The new IT policy aims to make Bengal one of the top three states by turnover and employment in IT, ITeS and electronic system design and manufacturing by 2020. It also plans to extend the benefits of information and technology to rural areas.
At an interactive session here today, Bengal IT minister Partha Chatterjee heard the problems of the companies.
“This is the first time that we are having an interaction with institutions and stakeholders of the ICT (information, communication and technology) industry in the state. We have in place an ICT policy and incentive scheme. If we do not tell them, they will not be able to avail themselves of its benefits. We want to hear and learn from them, too. Every district will have an IT hub. We are also laying stress on hardware. Our aim is to get 15 per cent of the country’s ICT revenue by 2020,” he said.
The IT firms expressed concern at the possibility of SMEs losing out to larger companies in e-governance projects and emphasised a procurement policy.
Tendering processes often set conditions that make it difficult for the SMEs to participate.
“The only requirement will be to ensure that local SMEs are given priority while procuring,” said Suparno Moitra, eastern region head of Nasscom.
Some said high property tax in Sector V of Salt Lake was hurting SMEs.
According to Bengal IT secretary A. Subbiah, a process to formulate a separate policy on procurement was underway. “A committee has been formed to look into procurement and disposal. We have had two meetings. A draft paper has been circulated. There will be special emphasis on local procurement.”
Sanjay Diwakar, associate director (markets), KPMG, emphasised last mile connectivity in rural areas.
He said growth centres should have adequate social infrastructure and the state should clearly project its annual IT spend to stimulate business.