India govt to spend $6.9B on IT in 2013

Country's public sector expected to increase its IT spend by 10.5 percent compared to last year, with software to lead expenses in terms of growth.

The Indian government is slated to spend INR 368 billion (US$6.9 billion) on IT this year, a 10.5 percent jump from INR 333 billion (US$6.2 billion) in 2012.

According to a Gartner report Monday, the estimated expenditure spans internal IT and IT personnel, hardware, software, external IT services, and telecommunications.

Telecommunications will remain the largest overall spending category throughout 2013. It is expected to grow 6.8 percent to reach INR 118 billion this year, up from INR 111 billion last year, largely driven by enterprise network equipment, Gartner said.

The Indian government's IT spend is slated to hit US$6.9 billion in 2013, up from US$6.2 billion in 2012.

The highest growth segment for government IT spend will be software, though, the research firm noted. The category will see a growth rate of 18 percent in 2013, led by investments in desktop and infrastructure software.

India's IT industry can expect to indirectly benefit from various government projects, the report said. These include the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) , which is the online database of biometric and identification details of residents, the launch of National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) , and the computerization of commercial taxes in local states.

Elaborating, Anurag Gupta, research director at Gartner, said: "The Indian government is starting to leverage UID identities to authenticate citizens for transferring welfare benefits directly to the recipient's bank accounts, in the form of cash transfers, thereby creating a new system for welfare benefits. India goes to the national polls in 2014, and the government will aim to expand the UID operational infrastructure by speed tracking 'financial inclusion', allowing easy access to banking for poor and encouraging micro ATMs (automated teller machines).

"To expand the benefits of IT, the government aims to invest more than INR 200 billion (US$3.7 billion) in expanding broadband penetration. The electronic chip making project, digitization of academic databases across all educational institutions, vehicle registrations, driving license databases et cetera will be the major focus areas," he added.


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