Punjab must create brand image to lure IT funds: E&Y

Written by Swarleen Kaur | Chandigarh Aug 21 | Updated: Aug 23 2008, 04:34am hrs
Punjab being a late entrant in IT space needs to create a brand image for attracting huge investments in IT sector. Besides, the state which has not been an early mover to join Indias IT revolution needs to adopt a brand ambassador a well known technocrat to lead the way for promoting Punjab as an IT destination in India and abroad. These are the latest suggestions of leading consultancy Ernst and Young who has been given the task of preparing a report Punjabs Strategic Roadmap for IT/ITeS Investment.

The firm which has submitted a draft of the report with the state government has thrown light on ground realities and has come up with various recommendations to push the growth of IT sector. Highlighted the current scenario the draft has reported that the state has a poor track record with large players as Infosys exited from Mohali and shifted to Chandigarh and Wipro and TCS followed the same route due to land encumbrance. Besides there is only one Quark City IT SEZ in the state and are just 34 companies registered with STPI. As per the report lack of infrastructure support, FAR restrictions, high land prices and shortage of power and absence of focused strategy are keeping the big IT firms away from Punjab. The report has said land crunch is the serious problem in the state for which the government should mull over introducing various alternatives like re-development of industrial infrastructure, optimum utilization of vacant government land and operations from residential premises. It has also been reported that according to the existing policy the government will allot land a reasonable price to the IT companies but the policy is not being effectively implemented as per the industry.

A senior official, information technology department of Punjab said, The draft has been discussed at length with the chief secretary of the state. Ernst and Young will submit its final draft within few days and then we seek the comments of the concerned departments. Following this a workable policy will be implemented.

There is a lot of potential in the state as it is close to the national capital region and Chandigarh and has huge availability of trainable manpower. The state produces more than 21,000 highly qualified technical students every year in AICTE approved colleges.