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May 15, 1998


A State of Mind

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Tamil Nadu has a game plan for churning
out thousands of IT professionals.

Tamil Nadu is gearing up to produce software professionals, keeping in view employment worth Rs 2 billion that is likely to be generated after Europe introduces the euro as a common monetary unit by the turn of the century.

Chief Minister M Karunanidhi gave this assurance in the state assembly
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Replying to a discussion on the industry's demand for grants, Karunanidhi, who's in charge of industries, said two software parks would be set up to produce over 10,000 software professionals.

The parks are to come up in Madras and Coimbatore. They are estimated to cost Rs 2 billion.

He said the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation and the state electronic corporation, called ELCOT, are developing a software park at Taramani in Madras. This one would draw an investment of Rs 1.6 billion. When completed after 12 months, the park would occupy seven acres.

Similarly, the two agencies would develop yet another park, costing Rs 500 million in Coimbatore. The Taramani Park is expected to churn out 8,000 software professionals and the Coimbatore Park is likely to produce 2,500 professionals, he added.

Karunanidhi hoped the parks would provide necessary infrastructure facilities to the fast growing information technology industries.

TIDCO, the Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited and the Small Industries Development Bank of India are setting up a venture capital of Rs 200 million. The fund is expected to help IT entrepreneurs as they are starting up.

The chief minister claimed that the fund is the first of its kind in the country.

The Tamil Nadu Infrastructural Technical Centre would also begin advanced courses in software technology, multimedia, information technology and digital technology.

The centre is to first function from the Anna University campus. It will then be raised to the status of a self-financing information technology university, he said.

Later, he announced the setting up of a hi-tech industrial park at Nanguneri in the Tirunelveli district in association with two American companies to encourage investors to set up industries and other service facilities at locations away from the major cities.

Karunanidhi said the HIP would cost Rs 7 billion and the investment in the new industries within the HIP is expected to be in the order of Rs 70 billion.

The land acquisition for the project is going on. It is expected to be operational by mid 1999.

Giving details of the industries that have come up in the state after the DMK came to power in May 1996, he said, of the 33 new units, eight have commenced production and three would this year.

Civil works for 12 other units have begun and three other units are scheduled to begin soon. When all these units get operational, they would provide employment to 350,000 people, he added.

Karunanidhi claimed that the DMK government in the last 20 months has attracted an investment of Rs 335.6 billion, which marked 17.6 per cent of the total investment in the country.

He said the exports, which are to the tune of Rs 67.81 billion during 1991-92 has increased to 185 billion in 1996-97 and had crossed the Rs 200 billion mark during 1997-98. This is 17 per cent of the country's total export, he added.

He also announced constitution of two high-level committees headed by him and the chief secretary to accord sanction to pending industrial projects in the state under the single window system.


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