The Bengal government hopes to attract Rs 10,000 crore worth of investment having announced the state’s Internet Cable Landing Station Policy 2023 at the Bengal Global Business Summit.
State government officials said a major focus area towards development of the policy was on making it carrier neutral as preferred by global technology companies.
“New submarine cable investors such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon are more inclined to choose carrier neutral ICLS for greater control of their data, as well as for higher flexibility on connectivity options. They would prefer to collaborate with multiple carriers instead of being bound by a single carrier ICLS owner,” the preamble to the state ICLS policy said.
The new policy proposes to provide 100 per cent exemption of stamp duty and registration for any transactions related to setting up ICLS projects along with the waiver of electricity duty and labour cess.
Non-financial incentives include electricity used by ICLS being classified as ‘industrial’ irrespective of location, uninterrupted water supply from the government and easy right of way among others.
Officials said that a single window clearance system will be set up for ICLS projects.
The policy proposes to set up 10 cable landing stations in the state by 2025 along the coastal line. While Digha is one such location, officials said other locations are expected to be notified soon.
Bengal also unveiled the West Bengal Data Privacy Guideline, 2023, and West Bengal Cyber Security Strategy, 2023, at the sectoral session.
Alapan Bandyopadhyay, chairman of Webel, highlighted the long term advantages of Bengal as an investment destination for the IT industry.
Prasoon Mukherjee, chairman and founder of Universal Success Enterprises, said the group will develop a data centre at Bengal Silicon Valley Hub in New Town with an IT load capacity of 27 MW at an investment upwards of Rs 2,000 crore.
World Trade Center NDITA, the first World Trade Center project in Salt Lake by Merlin, has signed an MoU with such centres in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi and Noida to improve trade with Bengal