Kolkata, 7 September 2017: The West Bengal Government is in the "midst of formulating" its new IT Incentive Policy which will be “one of the best and attractive” in the country. “The new policy will be unveiled soon,” said Mr Bratya Basu, Minister for Information Technology & Electronics, West Bengal, at the ICT East 2017 organized by CII in Kolkata here today.
Later, Mr Debashis Sen, Additional Chief Secretary, IT & Electronics, West Bengal; CMD, WBHIDCO & Chairman, Nabadiganta Industrial Township Authority, said the Department is studying the incentives offered by some “big states such as Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat”. The idea is to set a high benchmark of attractiveness.
“We invite suggestions and inputs from industry associations like CII as to what industry wants from us in terms of incentives. We will certainly try and make sure industry’s expectations are met and get reflected in the upcoming policy”, Mr Sen said.
Earlier, the IT Minister, Mr Basu, said, the West Bengal Cabinet would ratify the entry of IT major Infosys in the state. “A cabinet note will be prepared and the same will also be placed before the cabinet for approval", he said.
“I understand that a few decision makers of technology companies dealing with Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), are addressing the conference over the next two days in the conference. I would like urge the companies who do not yet have a presence in the state to consider investing in West Bengal.”
“Me and my team would be happy to meet you to understand your requirements and give all kind of support. They can also speak with the local stakeholders and get a feel as to how business is happening in Bengal. I would invite all of you to come and invest in the state and my department is here to lend all support needed for your expansion,” Mr Basu said, adding that the IT sector is growing at 16% with employment growth rate of 8% annually in Bengal.
Dr Omkar Rai, Director General, Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), said that IT and electronics industry is a potent tool for job creation and digitally empowering citizens. “The vision is to make India a zero-import country in electronic manufacturing.”
A lot of work is being done, Mr Rai said, adding that “infrastructure is being built, clusters are in place, funds have been launched and incentives offered. We are attracting a large volume of FDIs.”
He also said STPI has tweaked the guideline of BPO Promotion Scheme and would re- launch the same soon. The scheme, which was launched about one and half years back with an objective of spreading the IT and software industry towards smaller towns from tier I cities- has two parts- India BPO Promotion Scheme (IBPS) and North East BPO Promotion Scheme.
Mr V V Rajasekhar, Chairman, ICTE subcommittee, CII Eastern Region, said today’s business is driven by customer demand. “The patterns of demand vary considerably from period to period – something which explains why it can be so challenging to develop accurate forecasts which create an opportunity for using Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods. Technology-based forecasts tend to focus on new products and service development.”
Mr Amitabh Ray, Managing Director, Ericsson Global Services, India, said changes in technology are rising at an exponential rate. “With the advent of new technology a different ecosystem would be created,” he said.
The inaugural session saw the launch of a CII-PwC report titled Emerging Technology: Bringing Business Opportunities.