KARNATAKA

Comprehensive policy for hardware sector soon, says CM

BANGALORE Nov. 1. The Chief Minister, S.M. Krishna, today said that the task force on the hardware sector was very active. It would soon submit recommendations for a comprehensive policy for the hardware sector.

The task force was going ahead with establishing a hardware technology park on the outskirts of the city, close to the proposed international airport, he said at the inauguration of Bangalore IT. Com, 2003, the annual IT trade fair and conference.

The event was inaugurated by the Governor, T.N. Chaturvedi, at the Palace Grounds here.

The Chief Minister, who had said that work on the international airport would start today, but later postponed it to December, still hoped for a December start.

"Inshallah, work will start in December and, in 33 months, we will have a brand new international airport," he said.

The Minister of State for IT and Tourism, D.B. Inamdar, said that in the last six months three IT companies with foreign equity had set up shop in Bangalore every fortnight.

R. Ravishankar, Chief Executive Officer of the banking software maker, i-Flex Solutions Ltd., cautioned against complacency. "There are individual American and European companies whose annual revenues exceed the entire income of the over 3,000 Indian IT companies," he said.

Others at the inauguration were the British Deputy High Commissioner, Stuart Innes, the German Consul General, Heinz Kopp, and Nandan Nilekani, CEO and MD, Infosys Technologies, the IT services company headquartered here.

At the stalls of the trade show, local units of large companies were mostly using the show as a chance to tell prospective customers about all their products in one place. Anil Kumar Jain, General Manager, Marketing, at the mobile phone division of Siemens Ltd., put things in perspective: "The products still come from Munich... we do the integration here."

Rajeswara Rao Cherla, at the company's Software Communication Services division here, said while cost effectiveness was still the primary reason for foreign companies setting up Indian units, the country was also becoming a strategic region, after China.

In the coming months and years, companies would also come here to gain access to local markets, and to stay in closer touch with an increasing number of important customers, he said.

Elsewhere, the Student Internet World (SIW) was inaugurated by the Governor at the Kanteerava Indoor Stadium. The SIW introduces the Internet to large batches of schoolchildren. It will be open for the duration of Bangalore IT.Com, which is on for five days..

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