Hyderabad, June 27 :
The Telangana government Friday assured the Information Technology industry that it will offer tax concessions on par with its neighbour Andhra Pradesh.
IT Minister K. Taraka Rama Rao told a meeting of industry leaders here Friday night that whatever tax concessions the central government may give to Andhra Pradesh will also be available to Telangana.
Dismissing media reports that IT companies may shift from Hyderabad to Andhra Pradesh, the minister said the IT players will not leave a city with a world-class infrastructure and best eco-system.
He said Telangana will demand the central government not disturb the level playing field. He said Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhara Rao, in a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, already said he should not confer undue advantage to Andhra Pradesh and disturb the level playing field.
He pointed out that the government had categorically stated in Parliament in February this year that tax concession to be given to Andhra Pradesh will also be available to Telangana.
“Nobody knows what those tax concessions will be as the situation is hazy but one thing is clear. Same concessions will be available to Telangana,” he said.
Unveiling his vision for taking the IT sector in Hyderabad to the next level, the minister promised all support to make it the top-notch destination.
He said with exports of Rs.51,285 crore during 2012-13, Hyderabad was the second largest IT exporter in the country. He was confident that the numbers for 2013-14 will be higher.
Attributing the slowdown in the IT sector during last five years to lack of political will both at the central and state level, Rao said Hyderabad was ideally poised to reach the next stage of development.
He announced that the state government will conduct 52 events in 52 weeks to promote brand Hyderabad.
The initiatives proposed by the government include making Hyderabad first Wi-Fi city in the country, development of India’s biggest incubation hub, holistic development, skill development programme and leveraging IT for government to people initiative.
At the round-table attended by hundreds of industry representatives, the industry presented recommendations for growth that will take the industry to one million strong in five years from the present base of 400,000 direct employees.
These recommendations were made by organizations like Hyderabad Software Enterprises Association (HYSEA, formerly ITsAP), National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), TiE Hyderabad, and the American Chamber of Commerce in India (AMCHAM).