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Tax benefits to be extended
September, 11th 2009

The Union IT and Communication Minister A Raja today indicated that the government would extend tax benefits for Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) for three more years.

Besides, the minister also said the government would allocate 3G spectrums by January and for 2G uniform licence the ministry is waiting for Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).

Speaking at the sidelines of a two-day ICT event Connect 2009, which was inaugurated today, with the theme of Resurgence of the Indian ICT Sector organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with Government of Tamil Nadu the minister said that we might extend the benefits for three more years. He added, his ministry waiting for cabinets approval for the same.

The scheme is set to lapse in March 2009, was extended for one year up to March 31, 2010.

Semi conductor industry

The minister said that the government has received 15 proposals worth Rs 1.50 lakh crore, of which the government has given in-principle clearance to eight proposals worth Rs 70,000 crore.

The in-principle approval has been given to projects that are technically eligible under SIPS but the actual approval would come only once the financial closure is achieved by the players. More than half of the projects that have received the initial nod are photo voltaic (PV) projects.

Some of the investors have shown interest include Videocon Industries, Reliance Industries, semiconductor wafer fab, Moser Baer PV Technologies, Titan Energy Systems, KSK Energy Ventures, Signet Solar, Reliance Industries, Phoenix Solar India, Tata BP Solar India, Solar Semiconductor and TF SolarPower.

The minister added, to give boost and to attract private sector investments and confidence the government would invest 20 per cent of the said investment.

Earlier in his address the minister said that in 2008-09, IT BPO industry grew by 12 per cent to aggregate revenue of $71.7 billion and exports up by 16 per cent to $47.3 billion.

On 2G and 3G spectrums, Raja said that 3G spectrum will be given as per schedule which would be by January, and pre-bid conference for 3G spectrum scheduled for October 12".

Commenting on the 2G spectrum the minister said, We have approached Trai for uniform licence fee for its recommendation. The regulator asked time till November to give its reply.

We will also issue additional spectrum for 2G, provided if Trai clearance, said Raja.

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