Help at hand for software exporters

Special Correspondent

VISAKHAPATNAM: The Union Ministry of Commerce has many schemes for the small and medium enterprises section of software companies in the two-tier cities and metros to boost their exports, Executive Director of Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council D.K. Sareen said here on Saturday.

Speaking at a meeting of local software companies, organised by the Vizag IT Association he explained the schemes and help being given to the SMEs.

The IT exports from India reached 48.20 billion US dollar during 2007-08, a great leap from around Rs.250 crores to Rs.300 crores during 1989, the year ESC was established. This is 16 per cent of the total exports from India. Software exports are worth 45 billion dollars and the rest is in hardware, but only 25 to 30 top IT companies out of the 6,000 in the country account for these exports, Mr. Sareen said while explaining the situation.

Recently, the Ministry selected 20 small IT companies and provided a facilitation centre at Maryland in the US for five of them. Another such facility would be established soon at Fairfax in Virginia State for another five companies, including the Symbiosis Technologies of Visakhapatnam. These facilities were being created with the ESC and the Ministry sharing the cost. The facility would be extended to the European countries soon, he said.

More members needed

He wanted more companies to take membership with ESC as it would help them in many respects. Only 2,300 companies were members now, he said. The membership fee is Rs.4,000 for a company.

As ESC has entered into MoUs with 50 countries its members could attend the trade fairs, make trade inquiries and receive all information. Some members would get concession for attending the major trade fairs held every year in the US, the UK, Germany, Japan.

Mr. Sareen wanted Visakhapatnam IT companies to attend the major IT expo, the Indiasoft to be held in Kolkota in February next as foreign buyers would also attend the fair. A member of ESC could set up a stall at the Indiasoft by paying Rs.50,000.

To help the smaller IT companies the Commerce Ministry has introduced schemes like Market Development Assistance scheme and the Market Access Initiative. An IT company whose annual export turnover is less than Rs.15 crores is eligible for these schemes.

President of VITA Murali Mohana Rao Bulusu presided. Advisor to VITA Govinda Rao Adapa and management committee member Sastry Pullela and others participated in the interaction programme.

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