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Modi govt’s rural BPO scheme a runaway hit in Odisha

While the intake seat capacity breached the target of 1900 seats to touch 2,222, job counts have touched 1,550 and Odisha is 5th nationally

Bhubaneswar: The rural BPO scheme of Modi government has been a runaway hit in Odisha. The State saw an overwhelming response as18 units having an intake capacity of 2,222 joined the scheme, when the allotted seat capacity for the State was 1900.

The success is not in the count of seats alone. Job numbers are also very impressive.

As per the data available with STPI (Bhubaneswar), as many as 1,550 jobs have been generated in the rural BPOs in Odisha under the India BPO Promotion Scheme (IBPS) till the end of March 2019. The State finishes fifth largest employment creator nationally under the IBPS scheme, claimed a senior STPI official.

“The job creation depends on number of entities joining the scheme. With good incentives on offer for pooling in more BPO/ITES firms, 600 more are joining the scheme soon,” the official informed and added that as of now the 18 units have come up in five locations of the State like Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, Jaleswar and Sambalpur.

However, a look at the data shows Bhubaneswar houses as many as 13 units having a seat capacity of 1,378. Only 28 per cent seats are available in the other 4 locations. Puri has the least number of seats (54). Also, despite STPI centres, Berhampur and Rourkela are yet to see any bidder.

It needs reminding here that as per the guidelines of IBPS, a bidder has to bid for a minimum of 100 seats and a maximum of 5000 seats either at one location (city/State) or at multiple locations (city/state) across the country. But the minimum benchmark to start operation at a location is fixed at 50 seats.

“Bhubaneswar grabs the lion’s share in BPO units because, it has good infrastructure, high-speed broadband connectivity and availability of skilled manpower with low attrition rate,” the official explained.

Significant mention here is Odisha government has to take a leaf out of the Andhra Pradesh model of boosting BPO/ITES services. Proactive BPO/ITES policy and infra saw AP creating  a high of 11, 223 seats. In terms of BPO jobs, the number count stood high at 6,520.

Odisha government has only this February released its draft BPO policy -2019. With the incentive of Rs 1.05 lakh capital subsidy to firms selecting area of operation in Bhubaneswar and Rs 1.15 lakhs for units in 22 other districts except Naxal-affected districts, the State government is aiming to generate 30,000 jobs in urban areas by 2022.

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