EDISON, NJ (TIP): The Indian National Overseas Congress (I) along with New Jersey Telugu Community organized and hosted a reception in honor of visiting Information and Technology Minister of Andhra Pradesh Ponnala Lakshmaiah on Jan 19th 2013 from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM at Royal Albert’s Palace, Edison, New Jersey. The event, attended by about 150 guests, and focused mainly on discussion around IT partnership between US and India. The minister was received by INOC (I) and NJ Community leaders and several others at the venue.
A moment of silence was observed in honor of Indian soldiers killed on LOC and the recent rape victim in India. The highlight of the event was a speech by Mr. Ponnala who started off praising, lauding and thanking the NRI’s for their contribution to the Indian economy both directly by investment and for acting as ambassadors of the country by spreading good word about the investment opportunities in India.
Mr. Ponnala stated that the state of Andhra Pradesh continued to be a favorite destination for Industrial investment and the state is consistently growing and received investments to the tune of Rs 29,995 crores (approx.Rs 30 billion) during 2010-2011 fiscal year recording a growth of 67% compared to previous years. Andhra Pradesh is the fourth largest exporter contributing over 15% of the Nation’s IT exports.
The IT has generated more than 3 lakhs (300,000) jobs through direct employment and another 12 lakhs (1.2 million) jobs supporting the IT industry. As a result, the government gives prime importance to the growth of IT sector and has been the key segment for employment generation in the state. Some of the initiatives taken by the government to promote IT sector include: ITIR in an area of 202 sq. km in and around Hyderabad.
Electronic Manufacturing Cluster (eCity) in 900 acres, first ever dedicated gaming, animation and Media & Entertainment city in 30 acres (first of its kind in the country), Optical fiber broadband connectivity to rural gram panchayats and providing services thru several egovernance tools/utilities to citizens. The guests had an opportunity to ask questions after the minister’s speech. A question was raised that due to the Telangana issue the state has been losing investments gradually.
Mr. Ponnala disagreed with the observation and on the contrary, indicated that several new companies have been setup and existing companies have been expanding and this speaks for the 67% growth the state recorded. Another question was raised about the state deficit caused due to the government giving away many subsidies via various programs.
The minister stated that the state government budget deficit is within allowable FRBM limits during the entire period of congress rule since 2004.
The event, attended by several prominent IT company owners, community leaders, among them, many Telugu people and was organized by Ram Gadula, Raj Dichpally and sponsored by Global Nest, Inc and Symbioun Technologies, Inc. Mr.Ponnala Lakshmaiah is a senior Congress Minister in the Andhra Pradesh cabinet. He did his education at Oklahoma State University and returned to India in early 80’s to serve in the Public domain. He earlier worked as Irrigation Minister in the Dr.YSR cabinet and helped pave way for irrigating hundreds of thousands of acres of under-cultivated land into today’s bountiful crop-yeilding lands.
He has been in public life for over 3 decades and is the recipient of “Indira Gandhi Priyadarshini Award’ for outstanding contributions as Minister for Irrigation. He was also recently inducted into the hall of fame at his alumni Oklahoma State University. Mr. Lakshmaiah was visiting the US to attend President Obama’s Inaugural reception.