By BS Reporter
The Odisha government has urged the Union ministry for communications and information technology for setting up STPI (Software Technological Parks of India) centre at Balasore, the economic hub of northern Odisha.
STPI is an autonomous society under Union ministry of communication and information technology set up for promotion of software exports from the country.
“It (Balasore) has good number of SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and has shown growth in academic, commercial and business activities in the last few years. Establishing a STPI centre at Balasore would help in harnessing the potential in (information technology) IT and IT enabled services (ITes) sector,” Raghunath Mohanty, state minister for IT wrote to Kapil Sibal, Union minister for communications and IT.
For establishing the centre at Balasore, the state government has allocated a sum of Rs 3 crore (Rs 1 crore as state’s contribution and Rs 2 crore for additional infrastructure) in the state’s Budget for 2012-13.
The state government has already identified an area of 2.035 acre with built up space of 6,000 sq ft for the proposed centre.
Steps are being taken to expand the available area of 2.035 acres by adding the adjacent plots and making it contiguous patch of more than three acres and providing minimum 10,000 sq ft by constructing remaining built up space over the same patch of land from the additional budget amount of Rs 2 crore, Mohanty said in the letter.
The Union government, in 2010, had shown keenness to set up an STPI centre at Balasore. The Centre had written to the state government to provide the required state contribution of 10,000 sq ft, three acres of land and Rs 1 crore as grant-in-aid for setting up the facility.
If established, the Balasore STPI centre will be fourth such institute in the state after Bhubaneswar, Rourkela and Berhampur.
Omkar Rai, Director General, STPI during his visit to the state in July this year had said that establishing the centre at Balasore is under active consideration.
It may be noted that, the software exports in the state have registered a growth of 17 per cent in 2011-12 compared to the previous fiscal. The exports by IT (information technology), registered with from STPI and Special Economic Zone (SEZ) stood at Rs 1,611.67 crore compared to Rs 1,376.88 crore in 2010-11.