The government is targeting to see the software sector grow to about $300 billion revenues by 2020 from the current $100 billion.
For the year ended March 2012, software exports are estimated at about $69 billion.
“The industry is growing and we currently have about 28 lakh employees in about 4,000 IT and ITeS establishments. We are targeting to see the software sector’s revenues to be at about $300 billion by 2020. Similarly, we are also targeting to take the hardware sector to about $400 billion by 2030,” J Satyanarayana, Union IT secretary, said.
Speaking at Advantage AP 2012 summit on Thursday, he said the strengthening of the hardware sector in the country would happen through the electronics and hardware manufacturing policy, which is being finalised.
Supporting the Centre’s increased focus on electronics and hardware, Sachin Pilot, Union minister of state for electronics and IT, said demand growth in India would call for immediate strengthening of the hardware and electronics sectors.
“The demand for electronics in India currently is at about $50 billion. In the next eight years, it would scale to about $400 billion.
This will be more than the oil import bill. I see no reason why we can’t become a manufacturing hub. We can also become a global supplier of electronics. The Prime Minister is keen on seeing the electronics and hardware manufacturing becoming the next big thing,” Pilot said.
Saying that the IT sector would certainly record the projected 17% growth, Pilot said the government would also strengthen the IT infrastructure to ensure that the advantage of technology is made accessible to the people in the rural areas.
“In the next two to three years, we will have the IT infrastructure ready to light up every panchayat with optical fibre. The government has sanctioned Rs 20,000 crore for this and the budget would cover 2.5 lakh panchayats. It’s an open-access optic fibre and would allow any body from private and public sectors can use the pipe to offer services. We are targeting the last mile to wireless and remain technology agnostic. The infrastructure would stimulate the demand in taking various services including banking, financial and entertainment to every part of the country,” he said.
The optic fibre network would be completely funded by the Centre and the states are now being asked to waive the right of way charges to ensure that the cost of execution remains low.
“The waiver of right of way is the only participation we want from the states. That will reduce the cost. We are asking the state government to positively respond to this,” Pilot said.
According to him, once the fibre is rolled out, there would be a transformation in the government interface and bring transparency at the grassroots level.
However, Satyanarayana said the IT and electronics policies are on the verge of getting approved and the policy would encourage the development of Tier II and III towns to develop. He advised the IT companies to look inward and cater to the domestic demand as well while focusing on the exports.