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IT park eyes export boost

Ranchi, Nov. 22: The state information technology department has urged the Delhi headquarters of the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) to start construction to expand the facility in Ranchi.

The state government is aiming to create an additional 50,000sqft infrastructure at the STPI in Namkum Industrial Area, with the IT department eyeing software exports target of Rs 15 crore in the ongoing fiscal.

In 2011-12, as many as 16 IT companies that operate either from the incubation facility at the Ranchi STPI or elsewhere in the state capital and Jamshedpur, have registered exports figure of Rs 7 crore in the software and Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) sector.

Principal secretary in the state IT department N.N. Sinha told The Telegraph they had written to the STPI authorities in Delhi on Monday, requesting creation of an additional 50,000sqft area on the sprawling four-acre campus.

The Ranchi STPI has a 10,000sqft incubation facility that boasts high-speed Internet and 24-hour power backup.

STPI, Ranchi, assistant director Sidharth Rai told The Telegraph: "Last year, the export figures touched Rs 7 crore and this year we are hopeful of achieving Rs 15 crore in software and ITES. We are slowly growing."

Rai added that 3,000 employees were serving in companies across the state, which might grow with the STPI expansion plan.

Notably, chief minister Arjun Munda had written to Union IT minister Kapil Sibal on November 8, requesting him to set up STPIs in Bokaro and temple town Deoghar. In his letter, Munda had also sought expansion of the Ranchi STPI, where adequate land is available for the purpose.

Rai said there had been demands from a few reputable software companies for around 3,000sqft area in the Ranchi STPI unit to start operations.

"But at present, we are capable of providing a maximum 1,000sqft area to any company interested in availing of the incubation facility," he added.

Firms like White Tiger Ernd Private Limited, Xiphias Software Technologies Private Limited, Novus e-Solutions and Hicon Infotech are functioning from the Ranchi STPI, whereas the likes of Tata Technologies Limited, TCS and RSG Software Private Limited have units outside.

Sources revealed that Tata Technologies Limited was the largest software exporter from Jharkhand, already achieving a figure of around Rs 4 crore in the ongoing fiscal.

The company employs over 300 youths in the state, while Nath Corp, the family venture of Usha Nath, an NRI, has also set up a unit in the posh Ashok Nagar of Ranchi.

The software park also issues forms to the exporting units to ensure foreign currencies get converted into rupees.

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