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NASSCOM focus on SMEs to attain $50 b target by 2008

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DQW Bureau
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NASSCOM that has set an ambitious target of $ 50 billion in 2008, intends to focus on the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) to attain the same.

Kiran Karnik, who was on his inaugural trip to Chennai after taking over as President of NASSCOM told mediapersons that the SMEs were the stars of tomorrow who could only help achieve 'the tremendous challenge of $ 50 billion'. "In the 900-member NASSCOM body, the SMEs occupy the major space. So they are our stake holders and we as the facilitator will help them be active in the domestic market and take a delegation of them to the newer markets," he reportedly said.





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NASSCOM has forecasted a growth of 30 percent in software export as long as nothing drastic happens. The September 11 incident made certain companies postpone their deals, which according to Karnik, did affect the growth of the industry. He termed the slowdown period as a speed breaker, which is now unrolling certain positive indications with the travel and business contacts regaining momentum. "Somewhere between June and September 2002 the US economy will build again. Slowdown had its positive impacts. Because of the downturn US companies had to outsource to cost cut their expense.

April-June saw this happening. Many companies downsized and revised their projects. Since rebuilding was difficult outsourcing to India was the immediate opportunity," he added.

Expressing his dissension over Tamil Nadu government's directive to impose four percent sales tax on computer software, he said this was not the time to impose the sales tax. If Karnataka has withdrawn its sales tax on software, other states can also follow it. Only proactive initiatives and limited intervention from the part of the Government can boost the industry. "Lack of regulation is itself a policy and our government's hands off attitude should be appreciated. Through their political agenda they are projecting and creating an image for the Indian IT industry," opined

Karnik.

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NASSCOM, which encourages open competition, does not see China as a threat. India is ahead of China in everything except for a proper infrastructure, which includes power and communication. He said, "We have talented engineers and a good English speaking population. But China has an overall good infrastructure and we are talking with the government to support us with the best footing."

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