Union Information Technology (IT) Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad
on Tuesday said numbers of job cuts in the sector reported by the media were highly exaggerated.
“The government is also keeping a close watch over… the IT industry and in next few days, the IT secretary is likely to meet industry leaders over the issue,” said the minister.
The sector is, at present, driven primarily by IT-enabled services, which contribute about $150 billion annually. However, with US
President Donald Trump
pushing for more protectionist measures and most clients shifting to digital, IT services majors in the country have taken a hit in recent months.
Prasad, however, sounded optimistic. He said the IT sector would have a turnover of $1 trillion in 2022.
At present, the sector has an annual turnover of about $270 billion. But, the government would focus on start-ups, financial and new technologies, and cyber security to fuel growth. Financial services contribute about $50 billion and electronics manufacturing about $40 billion.
The government has appointed McKinsey & Company to speed up the growth of digital services in the country. McKinsey will advise the central government, and NITI Aayog will work with state governments to evaluate how prepared they are to push digital services.
He said many jobs were created, thanks to scheme, under the Digital India initiative and millions were employed in common service centres.
Prasad also said IT employment trends were changing to areas such as e-commerce, fintech, start-ups, data analytics and cyber security and there was a need for skilling. “The software industry may have to change its business model,” he added.
On the issue of H-1B visa, frequently used by Indian IT companies to send techies to client sites in the US, the minister said the issue of tightening norms had been raised at various levels and the prime minister would also raise this issue in his coming visit to the US.
“Indians do not steal jobs, but rather create new jobs. Indian IT companies have created as many 400,000 jobs abroad and have given $20 billion in taxes,” the minister said.