Eyes tie ups with private firms to develop tier II towns as IT hotspots

In its attempts to attract IT investments, West Bengal may unveil new measures in the IT policy likely to be presented for Cabinet approval by August-end. State IT Minister Partha Chatterjee said this on Wednesday on the sidelines of the ICT East, an annual IT seminar, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).He said deliberations on a new incentive scheme to woo the small and medium enterprises are under way.

“One of the new features of the IT policy would be increasing the corpus of venture capital that we provide to the IT start-ups,” Chatterjee said .

Earlier, the State Government had the corpus limited to a total of Rs 10 lakh.

Chatterjee, however, did not specify to what extent the increase would be. Special stress, he said, would also be put on the cluster approach to improve competitiveness of the small and medium enterprises while hardware clusters would be another focus area.

Quality Business

The Minister maintained that the Mamata Banerjee-led government would keep no stone unturned in wooing “quality businesses” in the State.

“We want quality businesses, especially high-end work like the knowledge process outsourcing, analytics and such alike,” he maintained.

According to the Minister, he has held informal discussions with a leading consultant firm for carrying out analytics work in the State. Microsoft, he claimed, too had shown interest in carrying out skill development and education programmes in the State.

Wooing small entrepreneurs

The Minister said that tier-II towns such as Durgapur, Asansol, Haldia, Kalyani, Siliguri would be the projected as the new IT hotspots in the state. The State was also ready to welcome joint development of such IT-hubs by private parties on public-private partnership basis (PPP).

Infrastructure support to entrepreneurs in these new areas would be provided by the State.

“You are a participant in the State’s development. We cannot carry out such development processes in isolation. Come to us with your proposals and we will look into it,” Chatterjee told some of the entrepreneurs gathered at the venue.

abhishek.l@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 8, 2012)
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