West-Bengal - Other Investment Policies
The state has identified IT as a priority focus sector to be developed into a growth engine. It has developed the new IT policy keeping in mind the enhanced opportunities that IT will unleash over the next decade. These opportunities will allow corporates to create immense value, provide significant opportunities for talent development and employment, and enhance efficiencies in governance and social service. Therefore, the core objective of the new IT policy is to allow different constituents within the State to leverage this opportunity.
West Bengal has been one of India's fastest growing states in the last decade, with a 5.2% growth in per capita net SDP. Over the last 3 years (1998-99 to 2000-01), it has also ranked as the fifth most attractive destination1 for investments. Going forward, the State has identified IT as a priority focus sector to be developed into a growth engine for the future. While the State will target both IT Services and IT-Enabled Services2, its focus in the short term will be on ITES, which is expected to grow by 75 per cent and touch Rs. 7,100 cr in 20023. The IT Services sector, in comparison, is expected to grow only 23 per cent in the short term.
The State of West Bengal ("The State") is vulnerable to natural calamities like flood, cyclone, hail storm, thunder squall, drought, landslide, erosion and sometimes to earthquakes because of its geo-morphological, climatic and seismic conditions. Floods and Cyclonic storms occur almost every year in different parts of the State and inflict huge loss of life and property causing untold hardships and trauma in the lives of the people. These natural disasters strike at the very root of the economic growth of the state . The Govt. of West Bengal ("GoWB") recognizes the need to have a Disaster Management Policy with proactive, comprehensive, and sustained approach to disaster management to reduce the detrimental effects of disasters on overall socio-economic development of the state. GoWB believes that Disaster Management is a holistic approach which is inclusive of all the activities before, during and after disaster.
The Government of India has introduced the concept of Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the year 2000, by way of revision in the Export-Import Policy, 1997-2000.
SEZs are specifically delineated duty free enclaves treated as a foreign territory for the purpose of industrial services and trade operations with exemption from customs duty and a more liberal regime in respect of other levies, foreign investment and other transactions. Domestic regulations, restrictions and infrastructure inadequacies are sought to be eliminated in the SEZs for creating an internationally competitive environment.