Orissa sets eyes on becoming software hub
Friday, 22 September 2006, 07:00 Hrs
New Delhi: In a bid to become the next information technology hub of India, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik invited investment in the state's knowledge-based sector and promised action on improving infrastructure. "The total investment proposals we have received is almost 4 trillion ($4,000 billion) and to hasten the process the government has created a single window clearance and facilitation system," Patnaik said. "Over the next five years we will spend 250 billion for improving our roads," he told chief executives of top firms at a meeting organised by the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) here. The chief minister said 2.5 billion investment has also been made to upgrade the Bhubaneshwar airport which is projected by global consultants McKinsey and Co. to grow at a rate of 7-8 percent over the next 10 years. He said the state has IT majors like Infosys, Satyam, Genpact, Tata Consultancy Services and Hexaware. "We are aiming at a quantum jump in software export and have a target of $500 million by 2011-12." Nasscom president Kiran Karnik said Orissa boasts of qualified manpower, adding: "The quality of the Kalinga Engineering College can match the standards of Birla Institute of Technology at Pilani or the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT)." IIT-Kharagpur is opening up a campus in Bhubaneswar and the state is also going to have a National Institute of Science Education and Research for which the government has invested 1 billion, the conference was informed. Other initiatives include two new private ports that will open shortly, four new software parks within the next two years, an investment of 160 billion in the power sector and a special economic zone to be built by Genpact and DLF. "The government of Orissa has signed 36 memoranda of understanding to generate 15,000 megawatt of power. We are proud to say that the state has near zero power cut," said the state's Power Minister Surjya Narayan Patro.