35. The Prime Minister has underlined the crucial importance of Information Technology for India. It is the fastest growing sector of the Indian economy as indeed of the world economy. It has tremendous potential for the generation of employment, incomes and export earnings. It can also provide millions of skilled jobs for women. Our Information Technology specialists and software creators are second to none in the world.
36. The government have set itself a target of making India a Global Information Technology Power and one of the largest generators and exporters of software in the world within ten years. A National Information Technology Task Force, headed by the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission has been set up, to formulate a National Informatics Policy which will help achieve our objectives.
37. Our software companies operate in a highly competitive global market and the skilled professionals working in these companies have attractive opportunities abroad. Our companies need flexible systems of incentives to retain their human resources. They have sought permission to offer stock option schemes to their Indian employees linked to ADR/GDR issues abroad, under which their employees will be eligible for ADR/GDR stock options. In recognition of the excellent work being done in this sector, and its very special circumstances, the government have decided to formulate a special scheme to allow such options for the software sector. The details of the scheme will be notified separately.
38. I also have some fiscal proposals to support rapid development of this crucial sector which I will present later in my speech.
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