IT dept demands 4-fold increase in 12th Plan outlay

Written by Kirtika Suneja | New Delhi | Updated: May 18 2012, 07:12am hrs
With the government planning to achieve $400 billion of revenue in the electronics and hardware sector by 2020, the department of electronics and information technology (DeitY) has sought an allocation of R81,378 crore in the 12th Plan, which is four times the amount allocated in the previous Plan to boost electronics systems design and manufacturing.

The target is part of the draft National Policy of Electronics 2011which calls for India to invest $100 billion in the sector and create 28 million jobs by 2020. The move is important as Indian electronics hardware production constitutes only around 1.31% of the global production and the countrys imports are expected to rise from 50% to 75%.

The policy also proposes to set up over 200 electronic manufacturing clusters in various states and create a 10-year stable tax regime for the electronics systems and design manufacturing industry (ESDM).

The significant increase in the requirement of resources comes from the thrust proposed to be given to the Electronics Systems Design and Manufacturing policy and also to provide for the requirement of the National Knowledge Network, the department told the parliamentary standing committee.

Ironically, the department failed to utilize the funds it was allocated in the 11th plan to the fullest despite a serious lack of technology infrastructure and hardware in the country. According to the department, the underspending of the allocated outlay is due to the shortfall in utilisation of the projects under e-governance and National Infomatics Centre especially due to insufficient power supply and connectivity.

The electronics policy of the department also entails creating a R5,000 crore Electronic Development Fund for promoting innovation, R&D and commercialisation in ESDM, nano-electronics and IT sectors including providing support for seed capital, venture capital and growth stages of manufacturing.The draft will be dicussed for a month before being finalised.

In fact, all the 23 schemes taken up in the 11th plan will be continued in the 12th plan (2012-17).