CHENNAI: Seeking to walk the extra mile with the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry, at a time when major IT industries are cutting back on jobs, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Mr. Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday urged the IT/ITES sectors to recommend policies that ensure growth without layoffs of techies. An 'Electronics Hardware Manufacturing Policy' will also be announced by the State government soon, he announced at a CII-gathering here.
Inaugurating 'Connect-2019', the annual international conference and exhibition on ICT, jointly organised by the Tamil Nadu government and the CII, Mr. Palaniswami appealed to the IT industry leaders and experts that the conference may deliberate on pro-active policies for the growth of the IT sector, attract more investments, measures required for a sound financial footing for IT companies and creating more jobs “without resorting to layoffs”. These key issues may be discussed in detail, he stressed.
“I take this opportunity to appeal to everybody present here, to extend your cooperation in establishing new IT industries in emerging technologies like Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), etc., and thereby increase employment opportunity to every family and provide efficient services to every citizen of Tamil Nadu,” he said.
Stating that his government would soon release the ‘Electronics Hardware Manufacturing Policy’ shortly, Mr. Palaniswami said the new policy would enable new start-ups, companies which would bring lot of investments and lot of jobs and contribute to the economic development of Tamil Nadu in a big way. He also referred to the new ICT policy unveiled by the State government last year, which has incentives for taking fresh investments in IT to tier-2 and tier-3 cities.
TN SOFTWARE EXPORTS:
Mr. Palaniswami said software exports from Tamil Nadu during the year 2018-19 was an impressive Rs 1,22,899 crore, generating 6.50 lakh jobs in the IT sector. The Chief Minister said he was happy that this has helped Tamil Nadu to be among the front-ranking states in the country in software exports, development and jobs creation.
Referring to the initiatives already underway in Tamil Nadu to maximize the benefits of e-governance to the common people through schemes supported under the national e-governance programme, Mr. Palaniswami said the ‘Centre of Excellence in Emerging Technologies (CEET) set up in the state has helped to take advantage of new technologies like Blockchain, AI. A ‘Command and Control Centre’ based on ‘Geographic Information System (GIC)’ to help solve pressing governance issues, will be established in Tamil Nadu, he disclosed.
Pointing out to other ITES-based other public services on the cards like creating a ‘State Family Database’, Mr. Palaniswami said the potential for growth in the ITES sector was huge. On his appeal for fresh investments and continued support by the industry to this sector, he said, “in response to my appeal, Tamil Nadu has already received `6,500 crore worth investments in the last one year.”
“This has resulted in 60,100 new employments in Tamil Nadu; the IT/ITES sector exports have increased nearly ten per cent and employment has increased by four per cent in the last one year, for which I thank the captains of industry and request you to continue the same support in future also,” Palaniswami said.
Greater Chennai in particular was carving a niche for itself as the ‘SaaS (Software as a service) capital of India’, he drove home.
Mr. Palaniswami also listed the other IT initiatives on the cards like the massive expansion in the broadband network for speedy Internet use to cover all the 12,524 village panchayats under a Rs 1,815 crore ‘Bharat Net’ project. The Chief Minister on the occasion also released a book, “Fintech and Startups Fueling India’s USD 5 Trillion Economy”. Revenue and IT minister, R.B. Udayakumar, CII representatives and top state officials were among those who participated.