Bangalore IT industry withdraws boycott plans

Bangalore’s IT industry announced Thursday that it has withdrawn its boycott of Bangalore, an annual conference and exhibition to be hosted by the local state government in October.

The decision comes after assurances from the Karnataka state government that it would work toward the development and maintenance of the city’s infrastructure, according to a statement Thursday by the Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BCIC), an industry association that had called for the boycott.

Concerned about the state government’s indifference to the deteriorating road, water supply and power infrastructure in the city, the BCIC had called for the boycott of Bangalore, an event that aimed to highlight Bangalore’s emergence as a key technology development and outsourcing location.

A large number of multinational companies including Intel Corp., Accenture Ltd., IBM Corp. and Texas Instruments Inc. have set up large facilities in the city. Infosys Technologies Ltd., India’s second largest outsourcer, and Wipro Ltd., the country’s third largest outsourcer, also have their headquarters and large software development and services facilities in the city.

BCIC’s intention was not to disrupt the event but to draw the attention of the government and civic bodies to the need to take immediate action to safeguard the city’s infrastructure, said Anant Koppar, president of BCIC on Thursday.

The announcement by BCIC follows a number of meetings between the representatives of industry and the local government.

Last year the IT industry in Bangalore also had threatened to boycott Bangalore, but withdrew the protest action after the government promised to take some action to improve the city’s infrastructure. Those promises were never kept, according to the industry.

“We think the government response has been a lot more positive this time, because of the pressure they were under,” said Koppar, adding that the government has agreed to include industry representatives on a committee that will monitor infrastructure development in the city on a weekly basis.

BCIC members include key Indian outsourcing companies like Infosys and a number of Indian development subsidiaries of multinational companies.

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