Central govt to push for BPOs in small towns, cities

Central govt to push for BPOs in small towns, cities

The central government has decided to set up Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) centres in small towns across the country to boost their economic development, Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said here today.

"I have directed my officials to formulate guidelines regarding establishing BPO centres in small towns and cities across India like Gorakhpur, Ghazipur, Sagar and similar places in Bihar, Odisha and West Bengal," Prasad said.

Tax exemptions would be provided under the new guidelines for BPOs and the process for opening them would be liberalised, he said, adding this would be done adhering to BJP's Lok Sabha poll manifesto to focus on the development of Eastern and Northeastern region.

Pitching for eight to 10 BPOs in Patna, he said proper power and connectivity would be needed for such projects.

Prasad was addressing a gathering after laying the foundation stone of an incubation facility at the Software Technology Park (STP). It would cost Rs 10 crore, and would be ready in 18 months.

The minister sought more STPs in different parts of Bihar and said the central government wanted to open them at Bhagalpur and Darbhanga. He requested Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, who was also at the dais, to provide land for it.
Manjhi, on his part, said the state government was ready to provide land for STPs at Bhagalpur and Darbhanga engineering colleges.

Expressing happiness at this, Prasad said if the state government provides land, his ministry would open branches of National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT) at Muzaffarpur and Buxar in the state.

The Union Minister also talked about setting up of an electronic cluster on the outskirts of Patna so that big electronic companies like LG and Samsung come to Bihar to manufacture their products.

"Electronic clusters are coming in other parts of the country. I request the Chief Minister here to give 50 acres near Patna for the purpose as it has an airport. We will develop an electronic cluster there. It will attract investment. The state will develop," Prasad added.

The STP at Patna exported software worth Rs 10 crore in 2013-14 and the minister said he was not satisfied as the exports should quickly increase to Rs 100 crore.
Speaking on the occasion, Manjhi said there was scarcity of land due to high population density in Bihar, but the state government would arrange for it when needed as it would provide employment to more people.

"We gave 5 acres for the Patna STP. More will be given when needed. The state government will cooperate with the Centre, will not allow any difficulty to come in between and help establish Bihar on the IT map of India," Manjhi said.
He said all districts would have wi-fi zones like Patna, where the state IT department has created a 20 km long wi-fi zone, considered among the biggest ones in the world.

"Bihar has used IT to a large extent in governance, but somehow investments have not come in this sector due to one reason or other. I request the state government to study the IT policies of states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to find out how they have excelled in this field," Senior BJP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said. 

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