State woos IT with sops | india | Hindustan Times
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State woos IT with sops

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today announced the much-awaited information technology (IT) policy in the Assembly today after it was approved by the State Cabinet.

india Updated: Mar 22, 2006 12:47 IST

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today announced the much-awaited information technology (IT) policy in the Assembly today after it was approved by the State Cabinet.

Chouhan later briefed the salient features of the policy which offers several incentives to the companies interested in investing in the State’s IT sector.

The IT policy focuses on e-governance, attracting IT industry, IT education and common infrastructure. The government would initially promote investments in Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior and Jabalpur.

As incentives the government offers free land to companies on providing jobs to 500 people and above and land rebate on providing jobs to 100 people and above. Companies would also be exempted from seeking permission for captive power plant. They would be kept out of the ambit of the Factories Act, Maternity Act, Contract Labour Act, Minimum Wages Act, Payment of Wages and ESI Act, besides exemptions from entry tax, electricity duty tax and work contract tax.

The CM clarified that rebate would be given only on government land and the land belonging to development authorities and government-owned corporations.

The rebate will be restricted to Rs 25,000 per job created in the unit. The minimum number of employees hired by a company to avail itself of the concession will be 100. Also, the company getting concession would have to continue operation for two years.

Land would be allotted for 33 years on lease with provision for further renewal, Chouhan said adding the IT industry would be provided power through a dedicated feeder. The units in IT investment area would be exempted from payment of octroi, entry tax and local bodies tax for all capital goods and raw material purchased by them.

He said the incentives would be for five years from the date the IT units became operational. The companies establishing IT industries in the State would be entitled to special economic zone (SEZ) status under the Central Government provisions. The companies providing employment to more than 250 people in the State would get preference of 10 per cent marks in the pre-qualification stage of the bidding process of IT procurement.

He said all incentives would be applicable to IT industries established on government-allotted land/private land with a provision of single-window processing/clearance for all government formalities.

The CM said that under IT education 500 government schools would be provided modern computing hardware, software and internet connectivity. Centres of excellence would be established in all government engineering colleges and selected government colleges. English language teaching would be promoted in school education.

Chouhan said a centre for e-governance would be established in Bhopal which would allow engineering graduates in the IT field to work on live e-governance projects.

The policy draft distributed among the journalists is also a commentary on the then Congress government’s IT policy introduced in 1999.

The draft said the 1999 policy failed to attract IT industry to the State; the government could not create common infrastructure such as SWAN, data centre and interoperability standards and government services in electronic form could not reach the common man in spite of being a pioneer in initiative such as Gyandoot.