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GESIA to help Gujarat govt promote ICT industry

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat's ICT exports, growing at estimated 25 per cent annually, need to strengthen areas such as intellectual property and employee skills, industry bodyGESIA said today. 

Newly-elected office bearers of the Gujarat Electronics and Software Industries Association (GESIA) said the organisation will suggest ways to the state government on promoting the growth of information and communication technology (ICT) industry. 

The Gujarat government is scheduled to come out with a policy on electronics, and GESIA will provide inputs on how to promote electronics manufacturing in the state, an industry member said. 

Global Tech CMD Pankaj Shah was elected as GESIA President for 2013-14, while Azure Knowledge Corporation's CEO Jay Ruparel was elected senior vice president. 

"GESIA will work actively towards capacity building of member companies, including skill development, employee training and creation of specialised cells for intellectual property rights and 
venture capital," GESIA President Pankaj Shah said. 

GESIA would participate in high-profile international infotech and electronics trade expositions like Traitonics in 
Taiwan and others like Electronica, Cebit and Gitex under the guidance of the Gujarat government, he said. 

ICT industry has a diversified mix of companies, and it is not confined to only BPOs, KPOs or software development. More companies are venturing into product development," he added. 

"Application development is one area where we have matched the pace of other states," a GESIA member claimed. 

As per GESIA estimates, ICT exports from Gujarat stood at around Rs 1,500 crore in 2012-13, up from Rs 1,100 crore in 2011-12. It is estimated to be growing at around 25 per cent per annum. 

After tax holidays under Section 10(A) and 10(B) were withdrawn under the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) scheme, nearly 120 ICT companies registered in the scheme have surrendered registrations in Gujarat. 

"From 200 odd companies, the number has come down to 80 ICT companies in STPI, after the tax holiday was withdrawn," the GESIA member said. 

Last year, the Centre declared a new electronics policy with to create an ecosystem within the country in order to curb growing hardware imports. 

India's import of electronic goods like mobile phones and cameras rose by almost 30 per cent to Rs 1.57 lakh crore in 2011-12.