In a serious bid to compete with various states and thereby consolidate state’s position as the favoured investment destination, the Maharashtra Cabinet on Tuesday gave its approval to new Information Technology and IT enabled Services (ITeS) Policy 2023 which expects to attract investment worth Rs 95,000 crore with creation of 3.5 lakh jobs. The policy also envisages to achieve a target of Rs 10 lakh crore exports in IT and ITeS sector.
The new IT policy will have a slew of provisions.
Single Technology Interface: To promote Ease of Doing Business in Information Technology, the State Government will launch the Information Technology Interface (MAHITI) through which facilities will be provided through timed clearance, component registration, incentives and other extension services and friendships.
Startups and Innovation: Maharashtra Hub (M-Hub) is an initiative to promote innovation in emerging technologies and establish the state of Maharashtra as a knowledge-led economy. 500 crores will be raised to provide financial assistance to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, New Entrepreneurs, Incubation Centers in Emerging Technologies.
Walk-to-work: Relaxation of eligibility criteria and area usage criteria for development of IT Parks and IT and IT Support Services Policy in the State and thereby providing workplace shelter to employees working there in future.
Future Skills: To promote future employability and skills, companies will be encouraged to have accredited employees in super specialized job roles. Such as AI Jobs Research Scientist, Solution Architect, Data Scientist, Optical Scientist, Embedded Solutions Engineer etc.
Talent Launchpad: Department of Industries, Department of Skill Development and Department of Higher and Technical Education will work together to develop ‘Talent Launchpad’ for the IT and information sector across the state. Existing colleges, skill institutes and training centers offering skill courses will be supported through competitions and hackathons.
Regional Development: Interventions will be made to create investment and employment opportunities in regional areas other than Zone-1, to promote sustainable and balanced regional development of the said area and to support the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises with large information technology components.
Industry Based Operating System / Structure: Under Maharashtra Hub (M-Hub) Chief Operating Officer will be appointed as Technology Ambassador of Maharashtra. They will represent and manage the policy and performance mandate from a private sector perspective and implement global best practices in the state’s IT industry.
Monitoring of performance: The performance of the policy will be periodically reviewed through the Empowerment Committee to adapt to the dynamics of the global market and the necessary amendments in the policy will be made from time to time by recognizing the global demand as well as the future needs of Maharashtra through the said committee.
Sops and Incentives
The Cabinet has approved a slew of incentives to be offered for investments in the IT and ITeS sector in the state. All entities IT and ITeS units will be eligible to get stamp duty exemption only for premises which have occupational certificate/building completion certificate for the area to be occupied by the unit from the concerned planning authority. The IT and ITeS units will enjoy power regionalisation benefit whereby cost reimbursement of up to 25% of retrofitting cost of Rs 10 lakh would be given to them to conduct retrofitting study and implement the energy efficiency equipment. They will be exempted from the payment of electricity duty. For a period of 10 years new IT & ITeS units registered with the Directorate of Industries shall be exempted from payment of electricity duty in public or private IT Parks in Zone 1. IT and ITeS units will be supplied power at industrial rates applicable under Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission tariff orders.
Further, IT and ITeS MSME units and startups will be entitled for reimbursement of 50% exhibition participation fee (space cost/rent)for exhibitions approved or organised by NASSCOM/ITPO subject to ceiling of Rs 3 lakh per unit and limited to two such events during the lifetime of the unit/company. Property tax will be levied at par with residential rates as applicable in the relevant jurisdictions. Government will issue necessary advisory to the local bodies to give this benefit to them.
Additionally, essential services status shall be granted to IT and ITeS units as they will be permitted to work 24x7x365 days without any close down except some expense cues arising where in the state/Central government thinks fit to keep the operation in suspension.