PM himself takes interest in IT matters: Prasad

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Information technology is a big priority of the government and it is a matter that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is moving himself, Telecom and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today.

He said the Prime Minister has been taking presentations from all departments of governments, including his Ministry.

"While this presentation was going on, the Prime Minister was sitting by my side. I said they want incentives. He asked what do you want, I said it has to be done. He just said okay and then I saw the budget. All my demands have been met," Prasad said.

He was speaking at i-bharat 2014 event organised by industry chamber FICCI.

The minister said he is pushing to increase electronics manufacturing in the country in order to reduce the rising import bill.

India is expected to be a USD 400-billion electronics market by 2020. In the absence of corrective measures, electronic import bill is likely to rise to USD 300 billion by then.

The minister said the push to electronic manufacturing and government decision to allow 49 per cent FDI in defence will work hand-in hand.

"Electronic manufacturing has a big component in the arms manufacturing as well. Therefore, the push as Minister for IT and Electronics in the field of electronic manufacturing and the push to native manufacturing sector by my leader, friend, elder brother Arun Jaitley in the defence, both are going to work hand-in-hand," Prasad said.

The electronic manufacturing is going to be the focus area for the new government besides conventional issues of e-kranti, connectivity etc, he said.

"One of the first priority areas that the Prime Minister has given to us is to expedite the process of National Optical Fibre Network connectivity which we are pursuing very vigorously. I must concede that previous government though of it but it was in limbo," he said.

The BJP led NDA government has decided to connect all 2.5 lakh panchayats in the country which NOFN by 2017 starting with 50,000 gram panchayats this year.

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