Finance Minister K.M.Mani said here on Monday that the Government would create the infrastructure to generate 600,000 job opportunities in the Information Technology sector and capture at least five per cent of the Indian market.

Moving the budget proposals in the Assembly, the Minister said 600 lakh sq. ft of built space would be created in 1000 acres. This, he said, would attract investments to the tune of Rs.20000 cr in the IT sector. The budget speech said efforts would be made to evolve appropriate policies to attract IT investors to small towns in Kerala.

Mr.Mani said moves were on to establish a convention complex and expo centre of international standards at Aakulam in Thiruvananthapuram as part of the IT corridor project. The land required for the project has been acquired, he added.

The budget has earmarked Rs.32 cr for the development of Cyber Park, Kozhikode, Rs.43 cr for Technopark, Thiruvananthapuram, Rs.42 cr for Infopark, Kochi and Rs.17 cr for the IT parks at Kozhikode, Koratty and Ambalapuzha. It has allocated Rs.10 cr each for the new campus of the Indian Institute of Information Technology Management- Kerala (IIITMK) in Technocity and the construction of a new Technopark at Karoor, Kottayam.

Mr.Mani has mooted a consortium of scientific research institutions functioning under the state and union government to find solutions to the social and environmental problems faced by the state.

The budget proposals for the science, technology and environment sector include a project to manufacture value- added products from the mineral ores abundantly found along the coastal belt. A botanical garden to be set up at Parvathymala in Munnar and planting of vetiver to protect river banks also figure in the sectoral projects.

A Technology Festival to identify and nurture outstanding students in engineering colleges and a special vocational training scheme for women graduating in science are other proposals.

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