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Govt nod to set up BPOs in the Northeast

Implementing agency looking for private partners for project

Bibhu Ranjan Mishra 

The government has given its approval to setting up BPOs in seven Northeast states, taking Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dream a step closer to reality.

Now, the Software Technology Park of India (STPI), which is the implementing authority of the programme, is planning to float a request for proposals to identify private partners for the centres.

As per the plan, the government is planning to set up BPOs, with a total of 5,000 seats, in Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.

The government has set aside a budget of Rs 50 crore for the projects, which would be set up under private-public partnership.

"The government has given its approval three days ago. Now, we are in the process of creating the RFPs. We have to identify the partner agencies which will actually run those call centres and BPO operations, based on a competitive bidding," said Omkar Rai, the director-general of STPI.

"It will be based on the viability gap funding per seat. So the bidder who provides the lowest funding will be the winner," he said.

Prime Minister Modi has been talking about the creation of jobs in the North-East, especially in the BPO sector.

According to Rai, the government estimates show that there is plenty of talent available in the North-East for the BPOs, not just for servicing the domestic clients but also global ones.

"There is no issue with the availability of skill-sets in the Northeast.

Only, some leadership positions have to be moved to those places and it can easily be made available," he added.

In the past, the government has been a number of initiatives to enhance IT skills of this region. The Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) has started the initiative to develop IT skills in the region with the help of National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology.

The BPO (also known as the business process management or BPM industry) today employs over million people. In FY14, the industry reported exports of $20 billion, a growth of 11.4 per cent over the previous year. The growth figure is expected to rise going forward with most of the industry players starting to focus on the domestic Indian market.

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First Published: Mon, February 02 2015. 19:58 IST