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Friday, July 2, 2010

Andhra sets IT exports target of Rs.70,000 crore by 2015

The Andhra Pradesh government Thursday unveiled its new information technology and communications (ICT) policy, setting an export target of Rs.70,000 crore ($15 billion) by 2015 and offering sops for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The ICT policy 2010-15 has projected 17 percent annual growth rate in IT exports. The IT exports, which were Rs.32,500 crore ($6200 million) are expected to reach Rs.70,000 crore ($15 billion) by 2015.

The policy, approved by the state cabinet here, also aims to create 125,000 direct and 500,000 indirect jobs in the sector over the next five years.

Andhra Pradesh currently accounts for 15 percent of the total IT exports from India and ranks fourth after Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

In a major initiative aimed at promoting SMEs, the government will set up towers in notified IT special economic zones (SEZs)and make it compulsory for major companies to outsource 10 to 20 percent of the government projects to SMEs.

Defining startups as companies with 0-5 years of operating history, 0-50 employees and turnover upto Rs.50 lakhs, the government has offered the SMEs several incentives, including 100 percent reimbursement of stamp duty, transfer duty and registration on sale/lease deeds and 25 percent subsidy on lease rentals upto Rs.5 lakh per annum maximum upto a period of three years in STPI/SEZ.

IT Minister Venkat Reddy told reporters that startups would also get assistance of Rs.2.5 lakh for recruitment made up to 50 IT professionals within a period of one year.

Ratna Prabha, principal secretary, IT, said product and research and development companies were also the focus of the ICT policy.

As the state is emerging as a major gaming and animation hub, the government also decided to develop a gaming and animation facility comprising built up incubation space, shared studios, processing labs, media centre and conference facilities.

The state will also start an animation and gaming academy in collaboration with the industry. “The government will also promote a full-fledged gaming and animation city to cater to the requirements of digital entertainment sector,” she said.

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