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Old February 20th, 2001, 09:54 PM
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Bangalore, Feb. 20: The information technology boom witnessed by India will not only be sustained but also grow up in value chain. And it would not be burst as a bubble.

Experts at a seminar here on Tuesday said besides the huge export potential, the demand in domestic market for software should trigger sustained growth and enable India to remain among the leaders.

Dalip Pathak, MD, E M Warburg Pincus and Co (Asia) which has significant private investment presence in India, said that Nasscom had projected a staggering figure of $140 billion as IT income for India by 2008. Even if it touched $120 billion it would still be 20 per cent of the projected Gross Domestic Product of $650 billion.

The experts, however admitted that INFRASTRUCTURE CONTINUES To BE THE MAIN BOTTLENECK. Edward Kane, senior managing director of HarbourVest Partners LLC of the United States which managed a private equity of $12 billion was highly critical of the investment climate in India stating that bureaucratic regulations continue to choke the growth of India. For about 15 years high capital gains taxation limits had been a restraining factor for private equity investment in the country.

He said high technology areas continue to remain only in software development and services and there was need for the country to diversify in the areas. To him infrastructure problems such as poor telecom facilities and transportation and frequent power outages continue to haunt the investors from looking towards India.

On the positive side he was in full praise of the IT growth with Indian companies contributing to more than half the Fortune 500 companies and more than 100 countries source software from India. The severe labour shortage in the United States also was another major factor for companies looking to India he added.

Former VSNL chairman B K Singhal said the IT sector bubble would witness a healthy growth in the country.

He said lack of telecom infrastructure was a matter of concern and there was need for greater capital infusion which could trigger infrastructure growth.
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