Chandrababu’s government released the vast potential of Information Technology and IT-enabled services (ITES) and enunciated a policy aimed at putting the State on the fast track. The thrust of the policy was employment generation and wealth creation. Along with incentives such as subsidies on investment and rebate on power tariff and land cost, Andhra Pradesh today offers a state-of-the-art communication infrastructure, including bandwidth. The Hitech City in Hyderabad alone has more than 19 lakh sq. ft of built-up IT space in Cyber Towers, Cyber Gateway and Cyber Pearl. Several IT majors have created additional space of nearly 3.5 million square feet.
It is not surprising that Hyderabad has achieved a phenomenal growth rate of over 300 per cent in ITES, making it the number one destination in the country. A leading international consultant, Mckinsey & Co., has predicted that the State can capture 35 per cent of the market share in IT by 2008.
Proactive policies, a modern infrastructure and innovative marketing strategies have brought major IT players such as Microsoft, Dell, Oracle, Computer Associates, Convergys, Keane, Vanenberg, Motorola, Nokia, Intergraph, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Mentor Graphics, Satyam, Wipro, GE Capital and Baan to Hyderabad.
In the State’s high-tech capital, e-Seva centres are almost as common as bank branches. It is also a place where the jobless throng for employment.
One of the key initiatives of the Chandrababu Naidu government is e-governance. Over four million registrations of land and properties have been done through the Computer Aided Registration Department or CARD. Equally novel is the e-procurement programme, which was launched on January 29, 2003, with the aim of reducing corruption and delays in procurement by the government. So far, goods and services worth Rs.2,000 crores have been procured, resulting in the saving of Rs.200 crores.
An example of the success achieved by the State in e-governance is the turnaround witnessed in Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL), one of the largest public sector units in Andhra Pradesh, which operates 67 coal mines and employs around 96,000 people. During 1996-97, the accumulated losses of the company stood at Rs.1,219 crores, forcing the government to refer it to the Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR). Following a series of reforms that focussed on technology upgradation, modern management techniques and workers’ welfare, the SCCL wiped out all its accumulated losses and entered into the net profit regime for the first time in 27 years. The production of 33.24 million tonnes that the company achieved in 2002-03 is the highest in its 114-year-old history.
Andhra Pradesh is among the first State in the country to set up a comprehensive citizen service portal (www.andhrapradesh.gov.in) and among the earliest in the world. The entire government structure, people, ministries and departments, top bureaucracy, roles and responsibilities, schemes, e-mail for all government employees was achieved through the portal. The massive e- governance drive of the State includes several programmes like CARD (Computer Aided Registrations Department), FAST (Fully Automated Services of the Transport Department), e-Cops, HR management systems.