Minutes of the meeting of the National Task Force
on Information Technology and Software Development
Venue : Committee Room No. 122, Yojana Bhavan, New Delhi
Date : 26 October 1998
The National Task Force on Information Technology and Software Development held a meeting under the chairmanship of Shri Jaswant Singh, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission and Chairperson of the Task Force on 26 October 1998 at Committee Room No. 122, Yojana Bhavan, New Delhi. The list of participants which consisted of Members of the National Task Force as well as Members of the Panel on Development, Manufacture and Export of Information Technology Hardware, is given in Annexure-I.
The Chairperson welcomed all the members. The Member Convener made a brief presentation of the Report of the Panel on IT Hardware. The Chairperson enquired whether all the Members of the Task Force as well as the IT Hardware Panel have fully accepted the recommendations of the Panel.
Shri Ram N. Agarwal, President of MAIT, Shri Manu Parpia, Past-President of MAIT and Shri Ashok Soota, Past President of MAIT conveyed full support of MAIT for the report and outlined the reasons why the computer industry considers the recommendations of the IT Hardware Panel especially, the concept of the S-BIT Scheme, as important and path-breaking. They said that the recommendations, if fully implemented, have the potential of making India one of the leading IT manufacturers in the world.
Shri Jawad Basith, President of ELCINA conveyed full support of the Electronics Component manufacturers for the recommendations given in the report.
Shri Om Wadhwa, past-President of ELCINA, while fully supporting the recommendations of the IT Hardware Panel, pointed out an editorial error that had crept in Recommendation No. 6 (i)(a) and suggested removal of the words, 'present worth' therein.
Shri Amit Sharma, representing the Federation of Telecom Industry Associations and the constituent Telecom Associations, said that the entire telecom industry has totally supported the S-BIT Scheme.
Shri Ashok Kanodia, President of Telecom Equipment Manufacturers Association (TEMA) endorsed it by stating that all the Members of TEMA are anxiously waiting for the final approval and Gazette Notification of the recommendations and early setting up of the S-BIT scheme. He pointed out that more than Rs. 8000 crores worth of telecom production is taking place in the country and, because of faulty policies, the entire industry was steadily declining. If the S-BIT Scheme is implemented as proposed in the IT Hardware Panel Report, it has the potential of completely reversing this trend and even invite hundreds of millions of dollars of foreign investment in production of telecom equipment in India. He, however, pointed out certain marginal improvisations of the value addition formula. Deletion of the words, 'piece parts' in Recommendation No. 4(vii) and putting a restriction on the import of populated PCBs into S-BIT Units, can dramatically improve value addition of manufacture in S-BIT units.
Representatives of the Ministry of Defence/Defence Services unanimously voiced the need for appreciable value added production within the country as well as local design and development of hardware.
Shri N. Vittal pointed out that the recommendations of the IT Hardware Panel will pave the way for eventual creation of the entire country as a free-trade zone.
Dr. G.C. Srivastava, Additional Secretary, Department of Revenue, pointed out that the Secretary, Department of Revenue had a full-fledged meeting with the members of the IT Hardware Panel as well as some of the members of the National Task Force with a free exchange of views on both sides. He pointed out that the Department of Revenue, CBEC and CBDT would require more time to analyse the report and present its view. Member Convener of the Task Force pointed out that the report of the IT Hardware Panel was submitted to the Department of Revenue for their comments six weeks ago. The National Task Force itself is working against strict time targets and that the presentation of the report to the Prime Minister is scheduled for 3rd November 1998. Chairperson pointed out that it is of utmost importance for the Task Force to finalise the IT Hardware Panel report and submit the same to the Prime Minister as originally scheduled. He advised all Members to send their comments and suggestions well before that. He suggested that the Task Force led by the Co-Chairperson, Professor M.G.K. Menon, should have a meeting with the Finance Minister, Secretary (Finance), Secretary (Revenue), Chairman (CBEC) and Chairman (CBDT) within the next few days so as to be ready for submission of the report to the Prime Minister as scheduled on 3rd November.
Shri Sudheendra Kulkarni of PMO congratulated the Panel on IT Hardware for reconciling the policy requirements of the various shades of the industry like components industry, intermediate product industry, end-equipment industry and software industry in working out the best possible integrated common framework.
The Chairperson placed on record the excellent work done by all the members of the IT Hardware Panel and especially the Secretary, Department of Electronics and Member Convener of the Task Force.
List of participants in the meeting held on 26 October 1998 representing National Task Force on IT & SD and IT Hardware Panel:
1. Shri Jaswant Singh Chairperson
2. Dr. N. Seshagiri Member-Convener
3. Shri N. Vittal
4. Shri Sudheendra Kulkarni
5. Shri Ashok Soota
6. Shri Anil Bakht
7. Shri Ravindra Gupta
8. Shri Rajendra S. Pawar
9 Commodore Prem Chand
10. Prof. P.V. Indiresan
11. Shri T.H. Chowdary
12. Shri P.P. Prabhu
13. Shri Anil Kumar
14. Shri Shanti Narain
15. Shri R. Chandrasekhar, Rep. CM of AP
16. Shri R.K. Gupta, Rep. DOT
17. Shri V. Babuji, Rep. IL & FS
18. Shri R. Tripathy, Rep. Ministry of Finance
19. Dr. G.C. Srivastava, Rep. Department of Revenue
20. Smt. Mala Dutt, Rep. Department of Revenue
21. Maj. Genl. Davinder Kumar
22. Shri R.N. Agarwal
23. Shri Ajai Chowdhry
24. Shri Jawad Basith
25. Shri Om Wadhwa
26. Shri Rajeev Ghanate, TEMA
27. Shri Ashok Kanodia, TEMA
28. Shri Manu Parpia, MAIT
29. Shri Amit Sharma, Motorola India
30. Shri S.K. Khanna, TEMA
31. Shri Vinnie Mehta, MAIT
32. Shri Ghanisham Dass, ELCINA
33. Shri T.K. Shah, Rep.CBDT