KTR urges Centre for scheme on the lines of ITIR

Information Technology and Municipal Administration Minister K.T. Rama Rao has requested the Central government to consider providing a scheme or initiative in place of IT Investment Region (ITIR) to ensure that cities like Hyderabad continue to flourish and provide employment to youngsters.

“The youth of Telangana are eagerly waiting for new employment opportunities that could be created with the support of the Central government in the IT sector. Cities like Hyderabad are the economic engines that contribute immensely for the country’s economy and it was therefore, important that such cities should be rewarded by way of new policy initiatives and incentives,” the Minister said.

In a detailed letter addressed to Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Mr. Rama Rao said it was amply clear that the Union government was not inclined to continue the ITIR scheme. “I make an earnest request on their (youth) behalf to use your good offices to announce an initiative on the lines of ITIR,” he said.

He recalled that numerous appeals were made on behalf of the Telangana government during the last six years to sanction funds for the ITIR in Hyderabad. Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on multiple occasions, both personally and through official letters, to provide assistance to the ITIR project. “As the IT Minister for the State, I have also met you and requested you to release funds for the ITIR project,” he said.

However, there was no response whatsoever from the Union government on this important initiative. Valuable time was lost as the State government kept pursuing the ITIR project without any response from the Union government. “Considering the importance of the IT sector and its contribution to the overall economy, a prompt response on this important matter would be appropriate. Lakhs of local youth have been deprived of employment due to the ‘lackadaisical attitude’ of the Union government,” he lamented.

He also said that the ongoing pandemic had severe impact on several sectors across the globe, but the technology industry in Hyderabad faced minimum disruption in conducting its activities.

He said that the latest estimates indicate that the IT exports from the State were expected to grow over 7% to touch ₹1.4 lakh crore (about US $ 19.1 billion) for the financial year 2020-21. The national growth rate during the same period, according to NASSCOM, was estimated to be at 1.9% at US $ 150 billion.

At the same time, the city saw a healthy 8.7 million square feet of new office space despite the severe impact of COVID on the economy. In terms of the share of sectoral occupiers, the IT/ITeS sector, including data centres, dominated followed by banking, financial services and insurance and manufacturing sectors.

The State government was aggressively promoting emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, Internet of Things, cyber security, digital entertainment technologies, Blockchain and drones, among others. In addition, the proactive role of the State government in encouraging product development, R&D and skill development in areas of emerging technologies had also encouraged many global and domestic IT companies to bring their technology development centres to Hyderabad, he added.

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 3:00:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/ktr-urges-centre-for-scheme-on-the-lines-of-itir/article33957064.ece

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