IT Act amendment in up coming Parliament session: Raja

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Mumbai, Feb 13 (UNI) Amendments to the Information and Technology Act will be carried through in the coming session of the Parliament to enable India to have a place in a more robust regulation that will add to the cybersecurity muscle, protect IP and combat piracy, Union Information and Communications Technology Minister A Raja said today.

Delivering the keynote at the NASSCOM Leadership Forum which began here today, Mr Raja said amendments were in the process of being finalised. The government was integrating into the act on the recommendations emerging out of the feedback received from the stakeholders.

Mr Raja also highlighted the need for the country to launch several schemes along with the Ministry of Human Resource Development to provide a conducive environment to the IT sector for building of relevantly skilled, employable and industry-ready manpower. Some steps have already been taken in this direction and include the idea of finishing the schools and initiatives to enhance skills in areas such as security, he added.

Mr Raja also stressed the need for the IT-BPO industry to spread its wings across India and create a revolution within the domestic market, which will greatly energise needs to take centre stage.

While the domestic industry had shown significant growth over the last few years ''we still need to see greater IT usage and a more rapid expansion of the local market''.

''Rural connectivity is still a dream for almost 80 per cent of India's population'' he said, stating that the government wanted to provide rural citizens with access to state-of-the-art technology devices and Internet at lower costs.

Bandwidth has to be made even cheaper and reasonably priced Telecom solutions must reach the common man, ''only then can the true benefits of IT percolate down to the grassroots levels and reach the largest sections of India's population'', complementing the industry for maintaining its record growth for the current fiscal, Mr Raja said.

The government would continue to provide an enabling environment to the sector to sustain the growth parameters. He said the ministry had accorded priority to the recommendations of NASSCOM for continuing the STPI scheme and fiscal incentives.

''We have been strongly advocating the extension of the STPI scheme and fiscal incentives beyond 2009, recognising the fact that the scheme has provided a pioneering environment and enabled the growth of the IT-BPO industry'' he said adding ''today there were many start ups and small and medium enterprises for whom the SEZ options were not available''.

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