Karnataka's new IT policy looks beyond Bangalore

Bangalore, Oct 21 (IANS) In a bid to decongest India's grid-locked tech hub, Karnataka's new IT policy, to be unveiled Tuesday, focuses on attracting investments in the knowledge sector in cities and towns across the state, and not only the state capital.

"We want prospective investors and entrepreneurs to look beyond Bangalore and replicate its IT success in cities and towns across the state to ensure Karnataka retained its numero uno status," IT Minister S.R. Patil told reporters here Monday.

The new policy, cleared by the state cabinet recently, offers incentives and exemptions to facilitate existing and new firms to set up software or hardware development centres in tier-2 and tier-3 cities in the state, with a potential to create a million jobs over the next seven years.

"Besides a single-window agency for expeditious approvals, the policy provides stamp duty exemption, concession in power tariff and extend exemption from the state labour laws under the Industrial Employment Act for another five years," Patil hinted ahead of the three-day Bangalore ITE.biz 2013 premier technology trade event here from Tuesday.

The extension will enable hundreds of IT and back office services firms in the state from complying with outdated labour laws that were made essentially for the manufacturing sector.

The clause providing protection to women employed in the IT sector will, however, remain as amended to ensure their safety.

As the country's preferred IT destination, the policy aims to achieve a whopping Rs.4 lakh crore (Rs.4 trillion) software exports from the state by 2020 from Rs.1.65 trillion (Rs.1.65 lakh crore) in 2012-13, accounting for over 40 percent of the country's total exports.

"The stamp duty exemption will be 100 percent for investments and concession on power tariff will be Rs.2 per unit for units that will be set up in tier-two and tier-three cities such as Belgaum, Gulbarga, Hubli, Mangalore and Mysore," Patil said.

The single-window agency will be headed by the IT minister and will meet every month to monitor the status of the clearances and address grievances of investors for speedy implementation of their projects.

"Projects up to Rs.100 crore will be cleared by the agency while the state high-level committee, headed by the chief minister will evaluate investments above Rs.100 crore for approval," said IT Secretary Srivatsa Krishna said.


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