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West Bengal State Policies

West Bengal Policy on Information and Communication Technology, 2012

West Bengal was a late starter in this sector and presently it contributes only about 2.6% of India’s software turnover, providing employment to an estimated 1,00,000 persons, concentrated in the Kolkata metropolitan area. In Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) Sector too, the position of West Bengal in an all-India context is not satisfactory.

Vision

To become one of the leading States in India in the IT and ITeS and ESDM sectors and to enable West Bengal to transform into a knowledge-driven welfare society with extensive use of IT and ITeS in Governance and in the daily lives of the people of the State.

Policy Highlights

  • Setting up of 26 IT parks & Incubation centers at least one each in every district of the State.
  • Encouragement of ICT activities in Tier-II and Tier-III cities in rural areas by enhancing incentives.
  • Encouragement for setting up of new Hardware units and to build at least 15 clusters for SME in Hardware sector in next 5 years.
  • “Design Centre” to be developed in the State with the assistance to premier technology institutions.
  • Gaming and Animation sector is given special emphasis in the form of special incentives.
  • Focus on Rural IT infrastructure and Rural IT training.
  • Venture Capital for innovation and creativity for Local entrepreneurs.
  • Local manufacturers and developers to be given preference in Government procurement of Hardware and Software.
  • Start-up companies in SME sector are encouraged by providing assistance on Lease rental, Power bill, Recruitment and Exhibition expenses.
  • Boosting R & D activities in IT sector by giving reimbursement for patent filing in SME sectors.
  • To leverage IT in the enhancement of productivity in different sectors of the economy, the following measures shall be taken:
  1. Use of IT will be extended to the agriculture, animal husbandry, fishery and SME sectors for a more balanced growth and development.
  2. A B2B portal is being developed for the global marketing of handicrafts and indigenous products of the local artisans.

Read Full ICT Policy 2012
Read ICT Incentive Scheme 2012

Draft Investment & Industrial Policy, West Bengal 2013

Please note this is a draft policy and not the final one. We will update it accordingly as and when a final policy is announced.

West Bengal Government has announced the much-awaited draft industrial investment and incentive policy. The earlier industrial policy of the state had come into force in 2008 that lapsed on March 31, 2013. The draft of the this policy has been uploaded on the website of the government, and experts and public can send their suggestions till June 30, 2013.

The new Industrial policy shifts its focus from big industry to micro, small scale and medium enterprises (MSME) sector. It also emphasises on industrial parks and hubs to be developed on PPP model.

The most curious part of the draft policy is the inclusion of companies with fixed capital investment between Rs 10 crore and Rs 100 crore within the ambit of VAT refund. This bracket essentially deals with the MSME sector that accounts for 50% of the state’s total industrial production and 40% of the export from the state.

Another important clause in the new industrial policy calls for recruiting 50% of the employees from the newly-formed employment bank. Only then will they be entitled to reimbursement of expenditure incurred by companies for their contribution to employees’ provident fund.

Below is an excerpt from the 69-page document that gives out the manner in which the Government intends to go about it:

“Ease of Doing Business- A key component of Industrial and Investment Policy”

Government of West Bengal is determined to eliminate systemic bottlenecks in the process of Industrialization in the state and has kept ‘Ease of Doing Business’ as one of the key objectives of this policy.

The state has undertaken Phase-I initiatives based on the Simplified Tax Regime and e-Governance in financial matters.
In the Phase-II, the Government will be extending the Ease of Doing Business to other aspects of Business cycle, beginning from Setting a Business, to a Single Window Service Delivery System and covering the incentive tracking and delivery.

The first attempt in this direction has been to reduce the 99 pages of documentation to start a business to a 7 page document. This will be further simplified by bringing the various departments and their services, related to setting a business, into a single electronic window.

Read Full Text of Draft Investment & Industrial Policy, West Bengal 2013

West Bengal Solar Policy, 2012

Policy on Co-generation and Generation of Electricity from Renewable Sources of Energy, 2012

The State of West Bengal is blessed with abundant sources of Renewable Energy in the form of Solar, Wind, Biomass, Biogas, Hydro, Tidal etc. This perennial an eternal sources of energy has a vital role in socio-economic development of not only West Bengal but also the country as a whole. Renewable Energy holds the key to the future of energy, food and economic security. All efforts should, therefore, be directed to harness alternate sources of energy to supplement our energy needs for domestic, institutional, commercial and industrial purposes. The New and Renewable Energy Sources is closely linked with Energy Efficiency, Energy Conservation and Climate Change issues like Global Warming etc.

Total potential of power generation, including all sources of renewable energy, by 2022 is 2206 MW. Target cumulative capacity at the end of the 12th year plan, by 2017, has been set at 587 MW and by the end of the 13th plan, in 2022, is set at 1865 MW.

This makes it compulsory for multi-storey buildings to have solar panels installed on the rooftops for power generation. Power generated has to be transferred to grid and residents will draw electricity from it. The additional amount will be adjusted in their monthly bills.

As an incentive to those setting up renewable sources of power, there will be huge financial benefits from the government – the generated power units would be purchased at double the actual cost.

On the sticky issue of land use, the policy stipulates that permission to use vested land will be for 30 years or the time till which the project will function, whichever is less. Whoever acquires the land – the developer or the government – shall offer 1% of the project cost for rehabilitating those who are displaced from the project area and for local development like setting up schools and hospitals.

Read Full Solar Policy

 

 

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