Bengal to offer incentives to investors in electronic and hardware sector

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The West Bengal government is planning to offer incentives to attract investments in electronic and hardware manufacturing. A draft policy in this regard is expected to be announced in a week, according to Basudeb Banerjee, principal secretary, Department of Information Technology, says a Hindu Business Line report.

“The State government will come out with an Electronics and Hardware Policy in the coming week. It just needs final reading by the advisory committee, which is mentored by NR Narayana Murthy, chairman emeritus of Infosys,” Banerjee said while addressing a seminar on opportunities for the electronics system and design manufacturing (ESDM).

The policy will introduce an incentive scheme for the ESDM companies, Banerjee said. Promising that land would not be a hurdle for setting up manufacturing clusters, he said that the state government would play a major role in building infrastructure for the growth of electronics sector.

According to AK Mukherjee, vice-president, Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers’ Association (CEAMA), a stable labour policy and availability of basic infrastructure such as land, road and water hold the key in attracting investment in the sector.

Pankaj Mohindroo, national president, Indian Cellular Association (ICA), said that issues such as unfriendly taxation policy, unbridled growth of grey market, lack of promotion have been hampering the growth of electronics industry in West Bengal.

“From the industry’s perspective, there is a big question mark on West Bengal’s readiness to tap the opportunities,” he said. “The state does not have a stable taxation policy. For example, the State has imposed more than 12 per cent VAT on a mobile phone worth Rs 3000. It has a very big and uncontrolled grey market for electronic goods and the government has to stop such a market to (help) grow,” he added.

Banerjee though admitted that as there were ‘certain dilemmas’ before state governments, it was up to the manufacturing companies to stay competitive.

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