IT Promotion

ICT Incentive Scheme 2012

ICT Incentive Scheme 2018 will be announced soon.

This scheme may be called The West Bengal ICT Incentive Scheme, 2012 (hereinafter referred to as the ICT Incentive Scheme, 2012) for IT/IT Enabled Services Projects of large, medium, small, and micro units (hereinafter referred to as IT Units) to be set up in the State.

Commencement and Duration

Unless specifically mentioned against the respective items of incentives sanctioned under the ICT Incentive Scheme 2012, it shall come into effect on and from the 1st day of August, 2012 in the whole of West Bengal and shall remain valid for a period of five years ending on the 31st July, 2017.

Applicability of the ICT Incentive Scheme, 2012

The ICT Incentive Scheme, 2012 shall generally be applicable to all large, medium, small and micro scale project units to be set up in the state and also for expansion projects of existing units on or after 1st August, 2012. The units may be in the private sector, cooperative sector, and joint sector as also companies/undertakings owned or managed by the State Government.

Eligibility Criteria for ICT Incentives under the 2012 Scheme
  • Any IT project to which this scheme applies shall be eligible for securing an Eligibility Certificate provided that:
  • The project is covered by a detailed feasibility report / project report prepared for the purpose;
  • The project has been approved and sanctioned by the Central Financial Institutions or the Commercial Banks or the State Financial Institutions, recognized private Financial Institutions as the case may be. In the case of projects with arrangement of finance from own resources, issue of Eligibility Certificate shall be considered by the WBEIDC provided it is satisfied about the arrangement of such finance.
  • IT Division of a Company claiming incentive which has declared to have been set up after the 1st August, 2012, irrespective of the date of incorporation of the parent company, the IT division of the company may be considered for incentive from a date the division has been registered with STP, Kolkata and /or any other EOU scheme offered by Government of India.

Classification of development areas and backward areas

For the purpose of determination of types and quantum of incentive available under the Scheme for the approved projects, according to their location, the State shall be classified in the following groups:

  • Group A: Kolkata Municipal Corporation, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Howrah
  • Group B: District Hooghly, and sub-divisions of Siliguri, Kharagpur, Durgapur, Asansol, Haldia, Kalyani
  • Group C: Districts of Burdwan (excluding sub-divisions of Durgapur, Asansol), Purba Medinipur(excluding sub-division of Haldia), Malda, Jalpaiguri, Nadia (except subdivision of Kalyani) and Murshidabad.
  • Group D: Districts of Birbhum, Bankura, Paschim Medinapur (except sub-division of Kharagpur), North & South Dinajpur, Purulia, Coochbehar, Darjeeling (excluding sub-division of Siliguri) and any other places not covered under Group A,B & C above.

State Capital Investment Subsidy
  • An eligible IT Software unit located in a Group ‘A & B’ area and set up in the State on or after 1st August, 2012 will be entitled to State Capital Investment Subsidy @ 10% of the Fixed Capital Investment subject to a limit of Rs. 250.00 lakh payable in 5 equal yearly installments.
  • An eligible IT Software unit located in Group C area and set up in the State on or after the 1st September 2004 will be entitled to State Capital Investment Subsidy @ 12% of the Fixed Capital Investment subject to a limit of Rs. 350.00 lakh payable in 5 equal yearly installments.
  • An eligible IT Software unit located in Group D area and set up in the State on or after the 1st August, 2012 will be entitled to State Capital Investment Subsidy @ 15% of the Fixed Capital Investment with no limit payable in 5 equal yearly installments.
  • An eligible IT Software unit in the field of Animation and Gaming located in a Group ‘A & B’ area and set up in the State on or after 1st August, 2012 will be entitled to State Capital Investment Subsidy @ 12% of the Fixed Capital Investment subject to a limit of Rs. 350.00 lakh payable in 5 equal yearly installments. Similar units in Group of ‘C & D’ area will be entitled to State Capital Investment Subsidy@15% of the Fixed Capital Investment subject to a limit of Rs.450 lakh payable in five equal yearly installments.
  • An eligible IT Hardware unit located in Group A (except in areas falling under the jurisdiction of Kolkata Municipal Corporation), B & C area and set up in the state on or after 1st August, 2012 will be entitled to State Capital Investment Subsidy@12% of the Fixed Capital Investment subject to a limit of Rs.450 lakh payable in five equal yearly installments.
  • An eligible IT Hardware unit located in a Group D area and set up in the state on or after 1st August, 2012 will be entitled to State Capital Investment Subsidy@15% of the Fixed Capital Investment subject to a limit of Rs.450 lakh payable in five equal yearly installments.

Interest Subsidy/ Training Subsidy
  • An eligible new IT unit for its approved project will be entitled to Interest Subsidy/ Training Subsidy on the annual interest liability on the Term Loan borrowed from a Commercial Bank/ Financial Institution for implementation of an approved project and providing training to fresh employees for such approved project respectively, at the rates given below:
    • Group A (except hardware units located in areas falling under the jurisdiction of Kolkata Municipal Corporation) & B:- 25% of the annual liability on the Term Loan borrowed for an approved project and Rs. 20,000/- or one month salary whichever is lower to a maximum 750 candidates subject to a ceiling of Rs. 150.00 lakh per year for five years;
    • Group C & D: – 25% of the annual liability on the Term Loan borrowed for an approved project and Rs. 20,000/- or one month salary whichever is lower to a maximum 1000 candidates subject to a ceiling of Rs. 200.00 lakh per year for seven years.
  • The West Bengal Scheme of Assistance to IT and ITeS for Human Resource Development 2008 which was to expire on 31st March. 2013 shall be continued and adopted under the name and style “West Bengal Scheme of Assistance to IT and ITeS for Human Resource Development 2012” and shall remain operative till 31st July, 2017.
  • West Bengal Scheme of Assistance to IT and ITeS for Human Resource Development 2012 shall be incorporated in the ICT Incentive Scheme 2012 (clause 8, Interest Subsidy/Training Subsidy) under the following applicability.

Option 1

An eligible company may claim only “Interest Subsidy” under ICT Incentive Scheme 2012 on the Annual interest liability on the Term Loan borrowed from a Commercial Bank /Financial Institution for implementation of the said approved project. The amount is fixed at Rs. 150.00 lakh per year for five years for Group A and B category locations and Rs.200.00 lakh per year for seven years for Group C & D category location.

Option 2

An eligible company may claim only “Training Subsidy” as enumerated in West Bengal Scheme of Assistance to IT & ITeS for Human Resource Development – 2012. The scheme will come into effect from 1st August, 2012 for five years only upto 31st July, 2017. However the earliest period of start of training for consideration of Training Subsidy will be on or after 01.01.2007. The amount is fixed at Rs. 150.00 lakh per year for five years for A&B location and Rs. 200.00 lakh for C&D locations.

Option 3

An eligible company may claim both “Interest Subsidy” and “Training Subsidy” and such companies will be governed by both the schemes as in OPTION 1 and OPTION 2, but the combined limit of both the schemes shall not exceed Rs. 150.00 lakh per year for A&B locations and Rs 200.00 lakh for C&D locations. Both the schemes will run concurrently for five years for all the category of locations i.e. A, B, C & D. Provided that a unit can opt for either Option 1 or 2 or 3 as above but not any two or three simultaneously and that the option has to be clearly exercised before claiming any subsidy from either of the Schemes.

Interest Subsidy

The Interest Subsidy will be payable annually subject to submission of a statement/certificate by the lending Banks/Financial Institution certifying that the IT unit has paid the due interest to the institutions on the due dates.

Waiver of Electricity Duty

An eligible IT unit or ITeS unit for its approved project will be entitled to waiver of electricity duty on the electricity consumed for its production/operation activity for a period of 5 years in A & B category locations and 7 years in C&D category locations from the date of commercial production/operation.

Employment Generation Subsidy
  • An eligible IT unit in the large and medium scale sectors, employees of which are recruited through employment exchange or otherwise, will be entitled to reimbursement to the extent of 50% of the expenditure incurred by it for paying its contribution towards Employees State Insurance (ESI) and Employees Provident Fund (EPF) subject to a maximum of Rs. 1.00 crore per year for number of years depending on the location of the unit as follows:
    • Group A(except hardware units located in areas falling under the jurisdiction of Kolkata Municipal Corporation) & B area: 5 years
    • Group ‘C’ area : 7 years
    • Group ‘D’ area : 10 years
  • An eligible IT unit in the small and micro will be entitled to reimbursement to the extent of 75% of the expenditure incurred by it for paying its contribution towards Employees State Insurance (ESI) and Employees Provident Fund (EPF) subject to a maximum of Rs. 1.50 crore per year for number of years depending on the location of the unit as follows:
    • Group A(except hardware units located in areas falling under the jurisdiction of Kolkata Municipal Corporation) & B area: 5 years
    • Group ‘C’ area : 7 years
    • Group ‘D’ area : 10 years
  • The reimbursement of the expenditure prescribed at the sub clause 11.1 and 11.2 above will be payable annually based on minimum statutory limit subject to the condition that the IT unit has paid its contribution towards ESI & EPF on due dates.

Refund of Stamp Duty & Registration Fees
  • An eligible IT unit irrespective of its location will be entitled to refund of 100% of stamp duty and registration fee required for the purpose of registration of documents within the State relating to purchase/acquisition of land and building for setting up of the approved project.
  • For IT enabled Services, requirement of land will be assessed at the rate of 0.3 acre for every 100 jobs created. If a unit acquires land in excess of this limit no concession in respect of stamp duty and registration fees for excess land shall be allowed.

Subsidy for certification of quality improvement and patent in the MSME Sector
  • An eligible IT unit in the micro, small and medium sector shall be reimbursed 50% of the expenditure up to a maximum of Rs. 5.00 lakh for obtaining ISI Certification, certification from CMM level 2 upwards, ISO9000, ISO 27001 for security, COPC, eSCM and from any other quality assurance body approved by IT Department.
  • Subsidy for Patents: An eligible IT unit in the micro, small and medium sector shall be reimbursed 50% of the cost of filing patents subject to a maximum of Rs. 5.00 lakh per year.

Incentives for approved expansion project of an existing unit
  • An existing IT unit for its approved expansion project will be entitled to all the incentives mentioned above under this Scheme subject to fulfillment of the conditions prescribed for the respective item for a new unit.
  • IT industries on their relocation to approved industrial complex may be considered by the State Government for Capital Investment Subsidy. The quantum of subsidy will be 10% of fresh investment in plant and machinery, computer hardware, computer software subject to maximum of Rs. 250.00 lakh in case of A and B category areas and 12% of fresh investment in plant and machinery, computer hardware, computer software subject to a maximum of Rs. 350 lakh in case of C category areas and 15% of fresh investment in plant and machinery, computer hardware, computer software with no limit in the case of D category locations depending on merit of each case to be paid in 5 equal annual installments.

Mega Projects:

Notwithstanding anything contained anywhere in the Scheme, the State Government may consider granting special package of incentives under this Scheme to a Mega Project on case by case basis, based on its pioneering nature of project, location aspect, introduction of state of the art technology, scope of further related investment etc.

CST Refund Scheme:

An eligible hardware unit set up in Group A (except in areas falling under jurisdiction of Kolkata Municipal Corporation ), B, C or D locations will be entitled to refund of 100% of the Central Sales Tax (CST) paid by the unit until the abolition of CST or 5 years whichever is earlier.

Entrepreneurship Assistance

Entrepreneurship Assistance for Start-up Small, Medium and Micro IT software units in the state of West Bengal shall be as under:

  • Reimbursement of 25% of the lease rental for built up space ranging from 500 sft. to 5000 sft. upto a limit of Rs 5.00 lakh per year for a period of three years.
  • Reimbursement of 25% of the power bill for a period of three years or Rs. 30 lakh whichever is earlier, from the date of commencement of operation.
  • Reimbursement of Rs. 2.5 lakh towards recruitment assistance for the recruitment made upto 50 IT professionals within a period of one year.
  • Reimbursement of 50% Exhibition rental cost for participating in the notified national or international exhibition limited to 9 sq. mtrs of space.
    Provided that assistance under the clause 17 shall be extended only to a start up Software Company in whose name a Trade License has been issued for the first time by a Municipal/local authority on or after 1st August, 2012.

Assistance for economically and/or physically challenged students in Animation and Gaming sector

IT companies in Animation and Gaming sector may avail with effect from the date of commencement of this scheme 75% reimbursement up to a maximum limit of Rs. 1.50 lakh per candidate for a maximum of ten candidates per year, towards the cost of course fee and a computer, if they sponsor economically and/or physically challenged candidates to an enlisted Certified or Diploma Training Course and absorb them after the course is completed for a minimum of one year. Explanation: Enlisted course means a course conducted by a training institute already enlisted with the Department of Information Technology.

Power to amend and/or relax/or repeal

Notwithstanding anything contained in any of the provisions of the ICT Incentive Scheme 2012, the State Government may act anytime to

  • Make any amendment to this Scheme or repeal it, but the commitments already made for an approved project shall not be affected by any such amendments or repeal:
  • Make any relaxation in applying the provision of this Scheme but such relaxation shall be made on the merit of the approved project in each case, as the State Government may consider necessary and appropriate;
  • May issue instructions and guidelines to facilitate implementation, to remove anomalies and to clarify interpretations of the provisions of this Scheme.

Continuity of benefit extended or to be extended in the erstwhile IT Incentive Scheme
  • Notwithstanding anything contained in any of the provisions of the ICT Incentive Scheme 2012, any benefit extended or to be extended under IT Incentive Scheme 2009 shall continue to be valid upto the period as stipulated in the IT Incentive Scheme 2009.
  • Any IT unit coming into existence after 1st September 2004 and before 1st August, 2012 shall continue to get all benefit under West Bengal IT Incentive Scheme 2009 upto the period as stipulated in IT Incentive Scheme 2009, provided it applies for Registration before 31st March, 2013, under clause 1 of the Operational Procedure of West Bengal IT Incentive Scheme 2009.

For further details, please download the ICT Incentive Scheme 2012 documents(Click here)

ICT Incentive Scheme 2018 will be announced soon

IT Policy 2012

West Bengal has unique sustainable competitive advantages that can enable it to emerge as the most attractive destination for investments in the field of IT / ITeS and ESDM. A well-planned and effective strategy will encourage investor to invest in IT & ITeS sector. IT and ITeS industry provides the high employment potential per unit of land utilized and deserves to be promoted on a priority basis vis-a vis other industries. The main vision & mission of the policy are mentioned below:

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.

Mission:
  • To become one of the top three States in India by turnover and employment, both in the IT and ITeS and ESDM sectors by 2020.
  • To create an investor-friendly climate in the State for increasing West Bengal’s share in production of electronic goods in India to 15% by value by 2020.
  • To create a robust IT eco-system for enhancing competitiveness and productivity of the key economic sectors affecting the lives of the majority of the population of the State.
  • To provide seamless and reliable citizen-centric services and information for the public, thereby enhancing efficiency, transparency and accountability in Government.
  • To ensure e-literacy among the masses to reduce the so-called “digital divide”.
  • To disseminate the IT and ITeS activities across the State so that rural population is equally benefited.
  • To seed all educational and R& D institutions with required IT infrastructure including state of-the-art communication facilities for promoting excellence and transforming West Bengal into a knowledge-based society.
  • To leverage on the premier educational and research institutions located in West Bengal to emerge as a leading State in the area of chip design, embedded software industry and areas related to Very-large-scale integration (VLSI) technologies.
  • To significantly enhance availability of skilled manpower in the ESDM sector. Special focus for augmenting post graduate education and to produce about 400 PhDs in this field annually by 2020.
  • To work with the Government of India and other State Governments for developing and mandating standards and certification for electronic products and services and to strengthen the Quality Assessment infrastructure in West Bengal.
  • To develop a necessary mechanism for effective disposal of e-waste in the State.

For further details, please download the IT Policy 2012 document (Click here)

This IT Policy 2017 will replace very shortly the existing IT Policy 2012. For further more details, please go through the attachment of the policy document under Acts & Rules menu option.

Bengalathon

“Bengalathon” is state level hackathon. It is a technology based competition in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers and project managers, collaborate intensively on software projects. This event will be an opportunity for the engineering students/technical professionals/ common citizens of West Bengal to become aware of IT applications and contribute to ideas or prototypes that will help shape the long-term policies of the state government. Additionally the citizens will be more receptive to new IT initiatives being rolled out in the state in future as they will be the actual contributors of those ideas. Government of West Bengal is looking forward to active participation from the students/ technical professionals/common citizens to come up with their own ideas and solutions, and will play the support role for channelling the entrepreneurial energy in the right direction in order to become a formidable player in the technology domain in the future.

Objective:

The purpose of “Bengalathon” is to achieve the following objectives using some of the leading practices like series of awareness building or training workshops in the weeks leading to the event:

  • Recognize innovative ideas that would culminate into path-breaking viable solutions for any of the industry sectors or citizen services
  • Provide a platform to showcase the innovative skills/ideas of the state resources at the national and international arena
  • Encourage and promote innovations to create an appropriate entrepreneurial environment in the state
  • Ensure participation from all the citizens from West Bengal through the process of idea submission or prototyping or evangelizing.
Benefits:
  • Awards
  • Recognition – There will be cash prize for top three solutions. Also, there are trophies for district level best solutions.
  • Community Participation
  • Connect with Industry bodies and Government
Current Status
  • State wide rollout of the event was done in the month of 3rd November 2017.
  • Different engineering colleges are participating in the event
  • The closure of the event will be on 16th January 2018

For further details please visit to the website https://bengalathon.wb.gov.in/