Centre for STPI scheme extension to 2015

Written by Economy Bureau | Kolkata | Updated: Feb 27 2009, 06:36am hrs
The Union ministry of information technology is seeking extension of the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) scheme to 2015, said Jainder Singh, secretary of the department.

The ministry has recently asked the finance ministry to extend the STPI scheme after it expires in 2010. Units located in software technology parks under the scheme enjoy a host of benefits including a 10-year income tax holiday.

We hope something will happen soon. We have taken up the issue with the finance ministry, Singh said. He was talking to reporters after the inaugural ceremony of Indiasoft 2009 organised by Electronics & Computer Software Export Promotion Council (ESC) at Kolkata.

Earlier, the industry was expecting announcements regarding STPI scheme in the interim budget. The extension of tax holiday under STPI scheme is needed to support medium & small scale IT firms during recession. It would encourage investors to set up new units and create more job opportunities.

Indias software sector was hit hard after slowdown in the US economy as the country accounts for almost half of the sector's export revenues.

According to Singh, software export to US would touch $47 billion by March 2009 as against $40.4 bn in the year-ago period. The growth rate would come down to 17% in March 2009 from 28% in the year-ago period, he said.

Earlier, Nasscom also reduced the target for software and services export for 2008-09 to about $47 billion.

Singh said that a recent study has found around 22.3 lakh people will be recruited in IT and ITeS sector by the end of March 2009. There is no possibility of a fall in the growth of employment opportunities. He said employment would grow at a rate of 18% this fiscal and would further come down to 15% in 2009-10.