IT Taskforce
Taskforce Diary

Minutes of the meeting with the members of the National Task Force on Information Technology and Software Development and the IT Hardware Panel with the Hon'ble Finance Minister

Venue  :  North Block, New Delhi
Date    :  31st October 1998

A meting with the members of the National Task Force on Information Technology and Software Developlment and the Panel on IT Hardware was taken by the Hon'ble Finance Minister on 31st October 1998 at North Block, New Delhi, to consider the Report of the Panel on Development, Manufacture and Export of Information Technology Hardware. From the Ministry of Finance, the Finance Secretary, Revenue Secretary, Chairman of CBDT, Chairman of CBEC and their senior officers were present. The National Task Force was led by Professor M.G.K. Menon, Co-Chairperson of the Task Force.

Professor Menon recalled the support given by the Hon'ble Finance Minister in the report of the Group of Ministers for consideration of IT Action Plan Part-I as well as implementing several recommendations by including them in his Budget speech to the Parliament, thereby giving a flying start to the IT policy. He pointed out the vision statement of the Hon'ble Prime Minister of making India an IT super power within a ten year time frame. The second report of the IT Action Plan was also conceived and brought out in the same spirit and it is essential that it also gets accepted by the Government in the shortest possible time. He described the basic recommendations of the report and the path-breaking concepts behind the S-BIT Scheme. He requested the Hon'ble Finance Minister to put this report also on the fast track. He said that the whole approach is to bring the investment climate in India on par with some of the competitors in Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and China. He emphasized that the good signal that went after the first report should not diluted and the tempo should be maintained.

Dr. Seshagiri, Member Convener of the Task Force and Coordinator of the IT Hardware Panel, described the advantages of the S-BIT scheme as well as the far- reaching beneficial implications of the recommendations. He pointed out that even as the report was put on the Web, a number of multinational companies and NRI companies abroad have shown willingness to make large investments in the IT hardware industry in India.

Shri Ram Agarwal, President of MAIT, Shri Manu Parpia, past-President of MAIT, and Shri A. Soota, past-President of MAIT, outlined the importance of the S-BIT scheme to the entire industry and pointed out that because of the substantial reduction of the grey market in the process, the Government will earn a nett additional revenue of nearly 50 percent.

Shri Inderdeep Singh representing ELCINA pointed out that the S-BIT Scheme will give a tremendous upswing to the component industry.

Shri P.P. Prabhu, Commerce Secretary outlined the importance of the S-BIT Scheme for integrated production for export and local needs so as to derive the advantage of economy of scale. He also pointed out that the S-BIT Scheme will increase the velocity of business substantially.

Dr. Vijay L. Kelkar, Finance Secretary supported the scheme.

Shri Sudheendra Kulkarni of PMO referred to the PC penetration mission and bringing out of the low cost computer under the Vidyarthi Scheme and Shikshak Scheme. He mentioned that the Panel Report will substantially assist in this direction.

Hon'ble Finance Minister observed that he agrees with the need for supporting the manufacture of IT hardware in the country for meeting local demand as well as for export under an integrated framework. He assured that the Ministry of Finance will take a positive view of the recommendations.

Professor P.V. Indiresan observed that while support has come from the higher ups in the various Ministries including the Ministry of Finance, one should be careful to see that these recommendations are not diluted at lower levels.

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