Central scheme to help create 2,500 BPO jobs in J&K

At a time when 230 people are going to lose their jobs due to winding up of Ageis Ltd from Kashmir, centrally-sponsored India BPO Promotion Scheme (IBPS), which offers support of upto 50 percent capital expenditure cost to beneficiary companies, is envisaging to create 2,500 information technology-related jobs for youth across the state.
Central scheme to help create 2,500 BPO jobs in J&K
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At a time when 230 people are going to lose their jobs due to winding up of Ageis Ltd from Kashmir, centrally-sponsored India BPO Promotion Scheme (IBPS), which offers support of upto 50 percent capital expenditure cost to beneficiary companies, is envisaging to create 2,500 information technology-related jobs for youth across the state.    

Launched in 2015 under centre's flagship Digital India Programme, IBPS had offered an initial provision of 600 BPO seats to be set-up in Jammu and Kashmir for employment and entrepreneurship, with a special focus on empowerment of women and the disabled.

The IBPS managed by Union Ministry of Information and Communications Technology and implemented by its affiliate organisation, Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), has recently allocated 200 additional seats to J&K.     

Speaking with Greater Kashmir, Feroz Parray, technical officer, STPI, Srinagar and nodal officer for IBPS in the state said out of the total allocated 800 BPO seats to J&K, 500 have already been made operational.

"There are seven companies running nine BPO units across the state at present. Each company runs a 50-seater BPO and considering each firm can operate three working shifts in a day, we are hopeful to generate 2,500 IT jobs by the end of next month. The final round for bidding by companies would also be complete by then," Parray said. "Initial outlay of seats for us was 600 out of the total 48,300 seats across the country which was based on the fact that state contributes 1.16 percent to total population of the country. Since ours has been a success story pan-India in terms of taking seats, we were provided additional 200 BPO seats recently." 

Parray said four companies running BPOs under IBPS are operational in Kashmir while as three such companies are functioning in Jammu. He said prior to becoming beneficiaries of IBPS, the bidding company must commit itself to employ atleast 1.5 times the number of seats (employment target) for the period of three years, for which the bid is submitted and claim for financial support is to be subsequently made.

"At present one company each is operating BPOs in Budgam, Sopore and two of them are functioning in Srinagar. In Jammu city there are two companies while as one is in Bhaderwah. These BPOs are mostly responsible for back-end work like data entry processes to national and multinational companies," Parray said.  He said the BPO unit at Budgam is a full-fledged call centre adding that per month per head average remuneration at these BPOs is between Rs 7000 – Rs 15000. But some youth engaged in advanced processes are drawing a higher salary upto Rs 30,000. 

According to a notification of the Union Communication and IT Ministry, IBPS provides financial support with overall cap of Rs 1 lakh per seat in the form of viability gap funding (VGF) to eligible companies, to encourage the growth of the IT/IT Enabled Services (ITES) industry through BPO/ITES operations. "The scheme which seeks to incentivize establishment of seats in respect of BPO/ITES operations across the country at an outlay of Rs 493 crore offers special incentives with total financial support of Rs 1 lakh which the beneficiary does not have to  pay back," the notification says

The scheme offers a special provision for hilly states such as J&K, HP and Uttarakhand.

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