PANAJI: Following the ‘direct dialogue’ with Chief Minister, Dr Pramod Sawant; Goa Technology Association (GTA) is feeling optimistic that the government will look into its concerns. Especially the promise to outsource government projects to local IT companies, has thrilled the GTA.

The programme streamed on Monday evening put the spotlight on the current challenges faced by the industry in particular.

Anchored by the Founder President
of GTA, Mangirish Salelkar; ‘direct dialogue’ opened on an encouraging note as Dr Sawant hailed IT industry professionals as frontline warriors, stated a press note issued by GTA.

“During the lockdown 1.0, everyone felt that the IT businesses in the state did not face challenges like other industries because the IT industry could work from the comforts of their homes. However, it is praiseworthy to note that the IT companies handled the challenges of ensuring the continuity of operations despite revenue loss, pandemic related SOPs, travel restrictions, challenges with electricity and internet connectivity. It was motivating to hear words of praise from the CM for the IT industry and professionals and referring them as frontline warriors for their contribution during these tough times. Dr. Sawant appreciated the companies for not only saving jobs, but also for creating new jobs and providing employment to Goans. The CM sees the IT sector flourishing with opportunities and would like Goa to be at the forefront in taking maximum benefits,” reads the press communique.

On the question regarding infrastructure, Dr Sawant informed that the state government is in talks with the central government to get the Bharat Broadband Network project implemented in Goa which will help cover rural areas and solve the connectivity issue. The CM also wants the ‘private players’ to take accountability for ensuring uninterrupted connectivity.

The GTA statement further stated that while few benefits have been rolled out under the startup policy, IT companies have remained without any benefits so far. “It was encouraging to hear from the CM that the policy benefits will be approved to all certified companies in August this year. Dr. Sawant questioned on why only 14 IT companies have registered with DoIT and felt the need to review the policy so that more companies could take the benefits. Industry feels that while the IT policy of Goa is very good, there is a huge gap in how it is designed and coded on the website for companies to apply for certification and benefits. While this is the key reason for delay, hopefully this change would be sanctioned and the process simplified. The CM also informed that the pending disbursements for start-ups will also approved by next month,” added the press note.

On the question of outsourcing work to local IT companies and start-ups, the CM has asked the interested companies to get empaneled with ITG and they would definitely be considered for outsourcing Government projects. Work will be given to the empanel companies along with GEL. It is acknowledged that outsourcing jobs to local companies will only help create jobs locally.

Dr. Sawant said that as a Chief Minister he is striving for Antyodaya and Swayampurna Goa; and IT has a major role to play for him to achieve his vision. The CM informed that the Gram Panchayats in Goa are already linked and the Bharat Broadband Network should soon be finalised. Electronic Manufacturing City project is on track. eGovernance was well explored during pandemic. The focus would continue on IT infrastructure and skilled manpower
development. The CM informed that he is committed to build an IT culture in Goa and have Goa to be also known as an ‘IT state’.

GTA President, Milind Anvekar thanked the CM and promised full support to boost his IT vision. “We are extremely thankful to our Hon. CM for his time to address the industry questions. We appreciate the Hon. CM understanding the tough times the industry has been through and referring our IT professionals as COVID warriors. We welcome the announcement of implementing Bharat Broadband Network project in Goa, outsourcing government projects to local companies, approving the IT policy benefits to the certified companies by next month and the IT conclave. Solving the internet infrastructure problem should clearly be the top priority for the state. If the government succeeds to roll out IT Policy benefits at least this time, we will not only have more companies coming forward to register with DoIT but also many other IT, ITES companies could consider moving their operations to Goa. The process to apply with DoIT via the website should clearly be updated on urgent basis. We truly appreciate the Hon. CM acknowledging GTA efforts and contribution since inception. We fully agree on building an IT culture towards Antyodaya and Swayampurna Goa and ensure full support in every effort that will help boost the IT ecosystem in the state.”


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