Budget boost for IT growth in Karnataka

Bangalore, Feb 8 (IANS) The Karnataka government Friday announced a slew of pro-active measures to propel the growth of the resilient IT industry in the state.

Presenting the state budget for ensuing fiscal 2013-14 in the legislative assembly, Chief Minster Jagadish Shettar told lawmakers that the government would spend Rs.100 crore to implement the proposed Electronics Systems Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) policy to give filling to the hardware sector and create job opportunities for the youth.

"To create additional top class talent, we will set an Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) at Dharwad through public-private partnership (PPP) at a cost of Rs.128 crore and an IT park at Belgaum in the northern region of the state," Shettar said.

Dharwad is about 430 km from Bangalore while Belgaum about 510 km away.

The industry and the central government will also in setting up the second IIIT in the state, with the first one in this tech hub.

Shettar, who also holds the finance portfolio, has allocated Rs.194 crore in the budget proposals for the IT, BT (biotech) and science & technology department in the state to strengthen the eco system for achieving ambitious targets by 2020.

"Our long-term goal is to treble IT exports from the state to Rs.4 lakh crore (Rs.4 trillion) from Rs.130,000 crore in 2012 and double jobs to two million over the next seven years in the tech industry," Shettar asserted.

The budget envisages continuation of science-related programmes drawn by the state's vision group on science & technology with Rs.20 crore spend in next fiscal.

"A Karnataka GIS (geographic information system) platform will be developed for data based governance, sustainable development and citizen empowerment," Shettar said.

The budget also proposes to set up a cyber cafe in each village with an initial investment of Rs.50 crore spanning 5,627 local bodies across the state.

Similarly, an e-district project will be unveiled to automate the backend process of state departments. A mobile governance platform will be set up to facilitate delivery of public services to citizens.

"A state portal will be launched to provide a single window for various government services," Shettar added.

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