The Karnataka government on Friday announced a new information technology (IT) policy, in a bid to incentivise companies to set up offices outside Bengaluru, create jobs and boost the penetration of IT and IT-enabled services (ITeS) in the state.
It also aims to create over 60 lakh direct and indirect jobs in the sector, a statement said.
The policy, which was approved by the Cabinet on Thursday, aims to enable the state’s IT industry to contribute 30% towards India’s goal of becoming a trillion dollar digital economy, the statement said.
To achieve this, Karnataka will improve infrastructure facilities to provide impetus to local players, facilitate the development of a better market for IT/ITeS entities by easing norms for public procurement, host IT and emerging technology events outside Bengaluru and upgrade its state cybersecurity policy.
The strategy, the statement said, involves promoting investment, global alliances, R&D support and IT creation, while accelerating skill sets through new programmes. The policy also stressed on putting in place supportive mechanisms for better facilitation of incentives and other policy benefits.
Land rates outside Bengaluru Urban and Rural will be cut by 25% for up to 50 acres for companies who meet eligibility criteria in the electronics system design and manufacturing sector, the statement said. Karnataka expects the sector to create 43,000 jobs and bring in over Rs 5,000 crore investment by 2025.
The latest policy is an update to Karnataka i4, the state’s IT policy announced in 2014.
In the period between 2014 and 2019, the government said it created innovation hubs and centres of excellence in 58 institutions across 24 districts. A Karnataka Unit for International Co-operation (KUIC) was also established to collaborate with international programmes from foreign multinationals, it said.
More than 500 IT and ITeS entities have registered with the state’s Directorate of Electronics, IT and BT so far to avail incentives under the i4 policy, while 18 firms have submitted requests for stamp duty exemption, the statement said.
The government also claimed that project investments of nearly Rs 6,728 crore were approved in the past five years, generating over 1.73 lakh jobs. The report also said that more than 80% of global IT companies have their headquarters or R&D centres in Karnataka.