The Telegraph
Thursday , April 12 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bengal push for electronics

Calcutta, April 11: Bengal is likely to emphasise on electronic system design and manufacturing (ESDM) in its new IT policy. ESDM covers a wide area in electronics including high-skilled segments such as semi-conductors, solar photovoltaic cells, LCD and plasma devices, and LED equipment.

The state has targeted a 15 per cent share (in value) of the country’s electronic goods market by 2020 in the final draft of the new policy.

Earlier, Bengal IT minister Partha Chatterjee had said, “Electronic system design and manufacturing can be a key driver of economic growth. The state has identified the hardware potential and will formulate incentives for hardware companies.”

The state has devised a two-pronged strategy — one for large units and the other for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) — to provide requisite support to set up ESDM units. It has identified clusters in select locations such as Calcutta, Falta, Asansol, Kharagpur, Siliguri, Purulia and Kalyani for SMEs.

According to sources, the state has set a target to build 15 such clusters in five years through central assistance or through state funding.

“We had given our recommendations for the IT policy. If the government is planning to emphasise on this, it is commendable. According to a Government of India report, precious foreign exchange could be spent, about $300 billion, on electronic imports, only second to petroleum, oil and lubricants by 2020. So it is important that we do it here,” Nasscom’s eastern region head Suparno Moitra said.

India’s share in electronic hardware production is just 1.31 per cent of the global production compared with China’s 33 per cent.

The demand for electronic products in India was $45 billion in 2008-09 and is expected to reach $400 billion by 2020. The industry is expected to grow at 22 per cent per year, which is seven times the global rate of growth.

The major demand by 2020 will be for telecom products and equipment, semiconductor design and IT systems and hardware.