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June 16, 1997


146 units join STPI scheme

With another 146 software units in the country registering themselves as exported-oriented units under the Software Technology Parks of India scheme during 1996-97, the total number of STP units under the Department of Electronics scheme has risen to 667 from the previous 521.

This was announced by DoT Secretary Shyamal Ghosh at the STPI foundation day celebrations that took place in Bangalore recently. However, the number of units presently operating is 461.

Leading in the list is the Bangalore STPI scheme with 132 companies operating in that city. It is followed by Noida with 109 and Hyderabad with 104. Other centres such as Pune, Tiruvananthapuram, Calcutta, Gandhinagar, Bhubaneshwar and Jaipur are operating with 50, 22, 20, 12, 8 and 4 companies respectively.

Similarly, the total software exports through the STPI-registered companies grew up from the Rs 170 million (nation-wide) in 1991-92 (when the total number of units registered under the scheme was 164) to Rs 30 billion in 1996-97 (with 521 registered companies). The target set by DoE for 2000-2001 is Rs 100 billion.

According to STP Hyderabad Director J A Chowdary, who attended the conference, all the STP directors have been reassured that their (directors') powers would be enhanced and equalled to that of development commissioners of export processing zones.

This is to be done so as to further simplify software export licence procedures under the STPI scheme. It would help entrepreneurs from not going all the way to DoE in New Delhi for certain export licence grants.

This reassurance of enhancement of powers for the directors is a quick sequel to the increase in powers announced by the Central government in the recent Exim Policy (April 1, 1997 to March 31, 2002).

In recent policy, the STP directors were vested with more powers which include approval of proposals with CG imports up to Rs 100 million; expansion of CG imports up to 50 per cent of original approved value subject to a maximum of Rs 100 million (additional); de-bonding of goods/units by STPI directors apart from enhancement of powers.

Chowdary also said the DoE has given away the 'best exporters' award at the conference, which is the first of its kind held by DoE.

Stating that Wipro software group has been ranked the 'Best Exporter for 1996-97' at the national level, he said Satyam Computer Services Limited, Mahindra British and Telecom, Network Systems Private Limited, Techno Digital Computers, Geotech Bharat Private Limited, Geotech Services Private Limited and NIIT Limited won regional awards respectively for Hyderabad, Pune, Tiruvananthapuram, Calcutta, Gandhinagar, Jaipur and Noida.

"We also instituted some partnership awards for partnering with STP in its various projects. DB WorldCom, GTS, VSNL, PTT Netherlands, DoT, Nortel and Fiujitsu were those who won them," he said, adding that the outcome of the conference was to bring more venture capital for software companies and concentrate on manpower development.

- Compiled from the Indian media

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