Hardware task force to attract global majors: Shourie

By SiliconIndia   |   Wednesday, 18 June 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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BANGALORE: India is planning to set up a task force that would campaign to attract global hardware majors here, IT Minister Arun Shourie has said.

"The concept is that companies that have achieved success in India should be able to leverage at the board level of multinationals and convince them to set up shop here," he said on the sidelines of the launch of Asia's biggest IT event, the BangaloreIT.Com, 2003, late Monday.

"The idea of the task force would be for focused and targeted wooing of investors in hardware. Why should they all go only to China, why not India," he added.

Shourie was speaking after a meeting with the head honchos of 20-25 major IT companies at Wipro's electronic city facility.

"Azim Premji (chairman of Wipro) gave me an update on what are the issues that are pending with the government," the minister said.

The meeting, described as "most constructive" by Shourie, discussed ways by which the government should assist the IT sector for its growth, administrative matters like customs clearance, how to respond to protectionism from the U.S. and Britain and making India an attractive destination for hardware.

"It really is a collaborative effort," he said about issues relating to visas or deduction of 21.5-35 percent of salary at source for social security schemes abroad, which Indians working there are anyway not covered by after a decade.

On issues of outsourcing, Shourie said there was really no need to panic. "It is the success of Indian companies that has given India a big presence globally. These are all problems of success."

Replying to a question, Shourie said he was working for a unified license in telecom in the wake of changing technology.

"Once you get a license for the spectrum you should be able to do anything, now that technology enables all voice, data and video on a single platform."

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