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Internet TVs will be installed in all Govt. schools: Naidu

By Our Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD, JULY 30. Videocon International Limited (VIL) hopes to complete by December the construction of its Rs. 150-crore manufacturing facility at Mamidipally village in Ranga Reddy district for which the Chief Minister, Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu, laid the foundation-stone on Monday.

Spread over a 10-acre area in the APIIC-promoted hardware park along the Hyderabad-Srisailam highway, this facility will produce Internet TVs, computer peripherals, colour TVs, refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners and DVD players. It will provide employment to 600 people directly and another 2000 indirectly.

VIL's investments in this plant will increase the total capacity of the Rs. 4,500-crore group for colour TVs to 2.5 million units, refrigerators to 1.5 million units and washing machines to one million units and push up its market share from the present 16 per cent to 20 per cent. The VIL Chairman, Mr. Venugopal N. Dhoot, announced the donation of 100 Internet TVs to the State Government for use in schools and offered to meet the future requirements at cost price.

The Chief Minister announced that the Government would buy the first consignment of Internet TVs manufactured by VIL for promoting distance education through the Ku-band. Internet TVs would be installed in all 55,000 Government schools, which could also serve as Internet centres.

Mr. Naidu said e-governance would be introduced in the State within the next 18 months. The proposed network would provide citizens multiple services under one roof such as distance education, easy data access and online payment for various utility services.

Making a strong pitch for Hyderabad as an investment destination and as a future transit hub between Europe and China, he said the hardware park was the first step towards attracting hardware companies to Andhra Pradesh. Its close proximity to the proposed international airport at Shamshabad would provide greater convenience to export-oriented units.

Apart from the airport, the Government was developing other world-class infrastructure such as high quality and reliable power, water and logistics for movement of components and finished goods and trying to remove bottlenecks in customs, central excise and airport clearances.

Mr. Naidu emphasised the need to promote electronics and hardware in a more aggressive manner. He cited the notable successes in electronics achieved by China whose technology exports had increased by 50 per cent to $ 37 billion. It was poised to displace Japan as the second largest supplier of IT hardware after the US.

The Minister for Industries, Mr. K. Vidyadhar Rao, said Andhra Pradesh stood fourth in the country in the matter of attracting investments (Rs. 1.54 lakh crores) and would jump to the second position if the Indian Gasohol project came through. However, the rate of actual grounding of projects was only 42 per cent and the Government was trying to increase it to 60 per cent. He refuted media reports that the Government was unhappy with the six international consultants it hired to boost investments.

The VIL Chairman, Mr. V. N. Dhoot, said the Mamidipally project was an offshoot of the discussions he had with the Chief Minister at the CII summit in Hyderabad earlier this year. The Home Minister, Mr. T. Devender Goud, urged the Chief Minister to consider establishing a leather export park. Mrs. N. Jayaprada, TDP MP, handed over to Dr. I. V. Subba Rao, Principal Secretary, Education, the consignment of Internet TVs donated by the company.

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