Kolkata, Aug 16 (IANS) The Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government Thursday approved the new information and technology policy laying special emphasis on hardware, animation and graphics.
The much-awaited policy, ratified by the cabinet sub-committee on infrastructure and industry during the day, provides for four categories of incentives based on the remoteness of the project.
"The entire state has been divided into four categories - A (most accessible), B, C and D (most remote) - with the incentives going up as one ventures into the more remote areas," officials said here.
The old IT policy formulated by the erstwhile Left Front regime had divided the state into three categories - A, B and C - based on remoteness, with the amount of incentive being directly proportional to the degree of remoteness of the project.
"Special emphasis will be on hardware, animation and graphics for providing jobs and increasing employability," an official said.
The cabinet sub-committee also raised the corpus of venture capital provided to IT start-ups to Rs.10 crore from the existing Rs.10 lakh.
"Originally, the plan was to increase it to Rs.50 crore. But due to the state's poor financial position, it was decided to raise the figure to Rs 10 crore initially," the official added.
The policy also laid stress on reducing the digital divide by increasing computer literacy.
Officials said the new policy would provide incentives for small and medium enterprises with emphasis on the cluster approach to improve competitiveness of the small and medium enterprises.
Hardware clusters would be another key area for the government.
After coming to power last year, the Trinamool government had constituted an IT expert panel on software and hardware with Infosys chairman emeritus N.R. Narayana Murthy as its chief mentor and Sam Pitroda as chairman.