Goa channel seek govt help

DQW Bureau
28 Nov 2008

Goa, the tourism capital of India, is a growing IT market in the West. The
emergence of industries, especially of pharmaceutical companies, has given a
significant boost to the IT market there. But the global recession has hit the
Goa IT market as well. The channels feel that the demand for IT products has
taken a down swing recently as the corporate has stopped their spend on IT
infrastructure. Even the retail segment is opting out from buying, as they want
to keep their money safe for a rain day.

Besides, the government's ambitious Cyberage student scheme is also eating
into marketshare of the channel community. Under the scheme students are given
PCs for a nominal price.

Dinesh Pal Vernekar of Computer Shoppee, said, “Cyberage scheme is eating
into the marketshare of channels. The government is buying through a handful of
dealers. The rest has no role into it.” He claimed that sometimes the desktops
distributed under the scheme are sold in the market again, it is a way for
people to make money or get rid of extra PCs.

According to industry sources, the market size is about 1,000 desktop and
notebooks; and about Rs 36 crore annually.

Shrivallabh Sardesai of Comtech said that the market has evolved very well in
the last few years. Government sector, corporate houses, institutions and
retails are the major buyers in the town. “The demand for notebooks is also
growing with every passing day. But the high prices are a deterrent,” he added.

The average sales price is around Rs 25,000 to 30,000, though high price
notebook and PCs are also in demand.

Industry people believe that only government can bailout the local channel.
They want the government to start e-gov projects as it would create new markets.
Besides, they also want to see some changes in law.

Prashant Kuncolienkar of Computeronics Infotech complained that a 12.5
percent VAT is imposed on multi function printers, as it is classified as non-IT
product. Whereas in nearby Maharashtra and Karnataka it is classified as an IT
product and draws a VAT of 4.5 percent. “Why should someone buy it from Goa, if
it's available for a cheaper price in a near by city?” He asked. Kuncolienkar
said that similar was the case with toners used for laser printers.

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