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State Unveils New IT Policy

 Bhubaneswar: In an aim to attract more numbers of IT firms to invest in the State, Odisha Government has come up with a new IT Policy.

The State Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has approved 17 proposals including the new Odisha IT Policy 2022 here at its meeting held on Tuesday.

The State Government has been at the forefront in adoption of emerging technologies in IT to drive and transform governance in the state to positively impact the lives of its citizens.

In consonance with the 5T principles of good governance (Teamwork, Technology, Transparency, Time, Transformation), the State is all set to realize the vision of a digital democracy.

The vision of this policy is to transform Odisha into a leading destination of investment for Information Technology in the country and position it prominently on the global nap as a preferred IT outsourcing destination propelling employment opportunities and inclusive growth.

As per the policy, the State has announced to provide 25% of fixed capital investment as capital subsidy limited to Rs. 20 crores. The government would also provide 15% of the cost of developing solar power plant subject to a maximum of Rs. 25 lakhs will be reimbursed.

Greenfield IT Parks will be eligible for 100% reimbursement of stamp Duty/ Registration Fee/ Conversion Fee.

Capital investment subsidy of 30% of fixed capital investment in buildings and infrastructure, excluding the cost of land will be provided subject to a maximum of Rs.3 crore to eligible IT unit.

The Government has also announced interest subsidies for the IT firms. Eligible IT units will be entitled to get an interest subsidy at 5% per annum on term loans availed from recognized financial institutions and banks, subject to a maximum of Rs. 10 crores per year for a period of 5 years from the date of commencement of commercial operation.

There is an exemption of electricity duty and electrical inspection fee for 5 years. There will be reimbursement of electricity tariff at 30% for 3 years capped at Rs. 35 lakhs per unit.

Similarly, the eligible IT units with up to 40 employees will get subsidies on the rental of incubation space for a maximum of 3 years based on their incubation space. Further, reimbursement upto Rs. 1000 per seat per month for co-working space in designated IT Parks & Incubation Centers approved by Government and Rs. 1000 per seat per-month in notified private IT Park/IT Space, will be given.

The eligible IT units hiring building-on rent for operating their centers will be entitled for a subsidy of 75% of the actual rent paid or Rs. 20 per sq. ft. per month whichever is lower. An additional 25% lease rental limited to 5 lakhs per annum will also be provided to women, SC/ST, disabled Entrepreneurs.

In the Policy, the Government has also announced 100% exemption of stamp duty on the first transaction and 50% exemption on the second transaction on lease/ sale agreement of land or built-up space allotted by the Government. The eligible units will be entitled to get 100% reimbursement of conversion fee and registration fee for 1st transaction.

Reimbursement of 100% state component of GST (SGST) for a period of 5 years in Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) Area and for a period of 7 years in non -BDA Area will be provided to the IT firms subject to 100% of their Fixed Capital Investment (FCI).

Recruitment Assistance shall be provided at Rs. 10,000 per newly recruited employee at executive level who are domiciles of Odisha with a maximum limit of Rs. 10 Lakhs per unit for a period of 3 years.

Additional Rs. 1000 per employing women, SC/ST and Physically Disabled employees. 100% reimbursement of the expenditure incurred towards contribution for ESI and EPF of employees of IT units who are domiciles of Odisha up to Rs. 5 crore per annum for a period of 03(three) years.  For investment in non-BDA areas, reimbursement would be up to Rs. 7crore will be provided.

The Government has also decided to provide reimbursement at 50% of internet bandwidth charges per annum subject to a maximum of Rs 5 lakhs per annum for a period of 2 years.

Moreover, assistance of Rs. 20 lakhs for setting up of and maintenance of Biju Innovation Lab for 5 years will be provided.

The IT Policy will be in operation for 5 years from the date of its Gazette Notification or till it is substituted by another Policy.

The Cabinet has approved amendment to Odisha Mobile Towers, OFC (Optical Fibre Cable) and related Telecom Infrastructure Policy, 2017 to include ‘deemed approval” clause.