Telecom and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday said the government has earmarked Rs 498 crore as financial incentive to companies for setting up call centres under a new BPO (business process outsourcing) scheme which is expected to create around 1.5 lakh jobs directly.
The minister, who chaired a meeting of state information technology ministers, said the incentive is to encourage firms to set up BPOs in small cities. The government will float expressions of interest (EoIs) under the BPO scheme after state governments submit their inputs, the minister informed. Out of Rs 498 crore, around Rs 10 crore is earmarked for creating awareness and publicity.
“It will create 1,46,400 jobs directly. Broadly, it is estimated to benefit close to five lakh people,” he added. He said the government would give 50 per cent of capital expenditure incurred or Rs 1 lakh per seat, whichever is less. The incentive is meant for a total of 48,000 seats across the country, and will be given on per seat basis. “We will divide 48,000 seats across the states in the ratio of their census population,” said the minister. He said that while funding will be given by the central government, the state government will have to play an important role in providing assistance to these BPOs. The minister said that the IT sector’s profile is limited to only a few cities, which should be spread across small towns in the country. The duration of the scheme is till March 31, 2017.
IT Secretary R S Sharma said that state government departments can outsource their work to the call centres to help them. The Telecom Minister said that the scheme is part of government’s digital inclusion programme. “Some NGOs are running BPOs without government support. Why can’t we do it at the national level? Big eCommerce companies are eagerly waiting for the commencement of this scheme,” Prasad said.