Ambitious BPO Subsidy scheme to expand, says RS Prasad



In order to promote its ambitious rural business process outsourcing (BPO) scheme, the ministry of electronics and IT will soon list its services on the government e-marketplace portal (GeM) — which has become a one-stop destination for all government buying — said union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Wednesday . The National BPO Promotion Scheme was flagged off soon after the Modi government came to power in 2014 and had an outlay of almost Rs 500 crore.

Aimed at creating thousands of job opportunities in smaller cities, the scheme had a total target of 48,000 seats. Prasad said that so far around 35,000 seats have been taken up so far. “I have also given instructions to further expand the scheme beyond the 48,000 seats given the huge job opportunities that it provides for people in small towns of the country,” said Prasad. Companies such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Amazon and Karvy Data Management among others have set up operations under the policy.

He added that apart from listing the services of the BPOs on GeM in the next two months, he will also seek support from other government ministries and departments to provide potential business to the entreprenuers. “I am writing to the ministry of agriculture, ministry of health etc,” he said.

Under the scheme the government provides subsidy of upto Rs. 1 lakh for each BPO seat set in a tier II or tier III town. According to officials, the fifth round of bidding has just concluded and has received better response that all the past rounds so far. While in the first four rounds almost 18,160 seats had been allocated in the fifth round closed last month, 68 companies submitted bids for around 17,000 seats, which are currently under evaluation.

“The government has tweaked the policy in the latest round significantly which has led to a very good response from companies,” said a ministry official requesting anonymity. He added that the changes include allowing for subsidy on operational expenditure and lease and rent of space instead of just on outright purchases in capital expenditure. Most of the companies opt for leasing of not just office space but also network and infrastructure which has made the policy more lucrative for them now.Other changes include relaxation of norms for bank guarantee. The ministry has also waived off the limit of only one-third seats for one company in each location to provide more flexibility.

Prasad said that the scheme has resulted in initial employment for 10,297 people.

Source: Economic Times


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