Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to restore the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) scheme for the revival of the IT industry in the country.
In a letter addressed to the PM, which was personally handed over during a meeting in New Delhi recently, Chandy said that the STPI scheme was one of the reasons for the success of the Indian IT industry and its discontinuation deprived several IT companies, especially those in the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector, financial means to fund growth.
“The current global economic meltdown added to the woes of several SMEs and hence a strong case exists for the restoration of the STPI scheme at least for the units in tier 2 and tier 3 cities in India,” the Chief Minister said in the letter.
The Chief Minister had earlier received a representation in this regard from the Group of Technology Companies (GTech), the industry body representing the software companies in Kerala, based on which he had taken up the issue with the PM.
“We are extremely grateful to the Chief Minister for bringing to the notice of the Prime Minister, the single biggest problem faced by the IT SMEs and are hopeful that the Government of India will consider the restoration of the STPI scheme at the earliest,” said V K Mathews, chairman GTech and executive chairman, IBS Group.
The state has nearly 75,000 employees in the IT industry, majority of whom work for companies in the SME sector. Most of the IT companies in the state have been seriously affected by the discontinuation of the STPI scheme. Apart from a no tax policy on exports, the STPI scheme empowers small and mid-size IT units to operate without any geographical restrictions, unlike the SEZ scheme.