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US IT body welcomes India's decision to review PMA policy

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Welcoming the Indian government's decision to revisit and review its Preferential Market Access (PMA) policy, a top US IT advocacy organisation has said it is hopeful it would lead to the country adopting global approaches to its procurement policies.

"There's good news from New today as the Government of (GOI) has opted to take a closer look at its controversial policy designed to compel foreign companies to manufacture electronic products in India if they want to sell there," John Neuffer, Senior vice president Global Policy, of the Informational Technology Industry Council (ITIC) said yesterday.

ITIC has IT giants like Google, AOL, Microsoft, and Microsoft as its members.

For the past several months, ITIC had been running a campaign against the Indian policy with its officials testifying before Congressional committees on New Delhi's PMA policy, which they allege is highly discriminatory.

"Isolation ignores innovation, freezes opportunity, and drives a stake through the heart of economic growth. That's why we welcome the GOI's decision to revisit and review the entire policy, including to hold in abeyance the application of its PMA policy to private-sector procurements," Neuffer said.

"We believe the kind of market-based incentives that gave rise to India's global leaders in software and services should be the foundation of its effort to build an ICT manufacturing sector. This open approach would help to drive lasting economic strength," he said.

Noting that it supports India's desire to build robust ICT and ICT-enabled manufacturing sectors, Neuffer said India's commitment to advance its economy, build a stronger manufacturing base, and grow its middle class will create numerous opportunities for increased trade for US-based industries, including the technology sector.

"We stand ready to constructively engage with the US and Indian governments on ways to expand those opportunities. And we are hopeful the four-week review of the PMA will lead the Indian government to adopt global approaches to its procurement policies," he said.

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