Aiming to promote the electronics manufacturing industry in the country, the Department of Information Technology (DIT) plans to set up a dedicated fund with an initial corpus of Rs 5,000 crore.
Other than addressing the issues of Indian Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), the fund is expected to boost innovation, research and development (R&D) activities in the domestic hardware manufacturing industry.
This is for the first time that the government plans to set up such a fund to give a fillip to the manufacturing industry.
“The fund will help in R&D capabilities of the electronics industry and help in the commercialisation of new products thereof. Moreover, we are a huge electronics importing country and can’t have huge foreign exchange outgo on importing electronic goods,” said N Ravi Shanker, joint secretary, DIT.
The idea of the fund was mooted by a task force set up by the government almost a year ago to suggest measures to stimulate the growth of information technology (IT) and the electronics hardware manufacturing industry. India’s electronics hardware production increased from Rs 84,410 crore in 2007-08 to touch Rs 94,690 crore in 2008-09, representing 12.1 per cent growth.
In view of the urgent need for intervention to promote and develop innovation, R&D, Indian IPR and manufacturing within the country for electronic products, especially those having security implications, DIT proposes to create a dedicated Electronic Product Development Fund. This strategic plan is for the next five years.
According to the task force estimate, the exports from IT and ITeS sector is expected to touch $82 billion by 2014 and $175 billion by 2020. The demand for electronics hardware in the country has been projected to increase from $5 billion in 2009 to $125 billion by 2014 and $400 billion by 2020.
“This is work in progress and in a month’s time, the proposal will go to the committee of secretaries. The fund will be predominantly supported by the government but we may think of private sector participation,” added Shanker.