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India By State - West Bengal - Taxation & Legalities




Taxation & Legalities

 

Policies & Incentives

IT/ITES Policy

The State Government has identified IT and ITES as priority sectors for the state. In 2003, the state adopted a comprehensive IT Policy which aims at:

  • Setting and realising aggressive targets for attracting investment in the sector and increase the state's share in India's IT and ITES exports
  • Providing a comprehensive package of incentives and regulatory support to facilitate faster growth of the sector
  • Leveraging the large talent pool available in the state to promote employment generation
  • Wide spread adoption of IT in public life through e-governance initiatives

Taking West Bengal to rank among the top three IT states in India by 2010 and contribute 15-20 per cent of the country's total IT revenues;

  • Simplifying existing labour laws and consider ITES companies as 'Public Utility Service'(24 X 7) providers
  • Self-certification allowed for IT companies to the extent possible
  • Offering incentives that can greatly reduce the one-time and recurring expenditure of IT companies;
  • Undertaking an aggressive e-Governance policy to connect almost 3,600 local self-governments (Gram Panchayats) and all the municipalities in the state.

West Bengal: Recent initiatives for IT and ITES companies

  • All IT companies are granted the status of public utility services and work under a 24x7x365 model
  • Fiscal incentives such as exemption from consumption tax and quality linked incentives
  • IT companies are awarded special status to improve infrastructure availability
  • Self-certification allowed for IT companies to the extent possible
  • Several data protection rights, anti-piracy measures and R&D support from appropriate institutions

To improve its competitiveness in this sector the State Government has decided to connect all government departments and over 3,600 Local Self Government units to ensure community participation. It has set up the West Bengal State Wide Area Network (WBSWAN) that provides wide level connectivity to the district and block levels. West Bengal is one of the five states in India with such wide connectivity. The state has launched an IT literacy programme in schools and colleges in collaboration with IBM, Wipro and NIIT. This programme will cover over 1 1,000 schools across the state.

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West Bengal State Export Policy

West Bengal has an enormous potential for export. The state export policy is aimed at furthering these opportunities.

  • A special market information service will be provided.
  • Award for Excellence in Exports;
  • Exemption from Sales Tax on Proceeds from Transfer of Licenses such as Exim Scrip, REP License, Advance License, DEPB License.
  • Implementation of e-governance projects.
  • Round-the-clock Movement of Export Cargo.
  • Setting up of a Commerce Cell to look after all aspects of export promotion.

West Bengal State Biotech Policy

The state has been putting efforts to facilitate the growth of biotech industries and development of clean biotech technologies. The various key initiatives under this section include:

  • Conserve bio-diversity through mapping and sustainable use of bio-resources,
  • Create a "Centre of Excellence for Biotechnology" as a high quality support service to Biotech Industries,
  • Facilitate the flow of venture capital funds and bank credit to Biotech companies.
  • Spread general awareness for optimum utilisation of Biotechnology in the agriculture sector,

Public sector enterprise restructuring

As part of its larger effort to foster economic and social development of the state, the West Bengal Government has decided to restructure the state level public enterprises. In 2003, it commenced a pilot project for restructuring 14 state-owned enterprises, with assistance from DFID, Government of UK. Of the 14 enterprises, 10 have been identified for restructuring through private investment. Four enterprises will be retained under the State Government's ownership. Business and financial restructuring plans have been developed for these enterprises and are currently under implementation.

Special Economic Zone Policy

The State Government is focused on developing SEZs in the state. These zones will be earmarked as duty-free enclaves and will have a relaxed and business friendly policy regime. The policy aims to promote rapid industrial development and employment generation. The policy offers:

  • Exemption from all state and local taxes and levies on transactions with the SEZ and on supply from domestic tariff areas to the SEZ
  • Exemption from stamp duty and registration fees
  • Expeditious process for land acquisition to set up SEZs
  • Grant of labour and environment related permits and approvals through a dedicated single window mechanism
  • Permission to generate electricity for own consumption

West Bengal State Mineral Policy

  • Creating a database on mineral resources of the state
  • Development of industry friendly facilitators in specific minerals like coal, granite and chinaclay and in natural gas like coal bed methane
  • Encouraging mineral PSUs to concentrate on specific sectors to ensure better economics
  • To ensure conduct of mining operations with due regard to safety and health of all concerned
  • To ensure establishment of appropriate educational and training facilities for human resource development to meet the manpower requirements of the mineral industry
  • To ensure proper vigilance and supervision of mining activities with particular emphasis on simplification of procedures and greater generation of revenues from mineral resources
  • To explore the state's mineral wealth and exploit mineral resources
  • Inviting private capital, resources and technology, both foreign and domestic in mineral exploitation
  • To minimise the adverse effect of mineral development on the forest, environment and ecology through appropriate protective measures
  • To promote research and development activities in the mineral sector
  • To review the existing state monopolies over mineral exploitation and, wherever required, go in for selective de-reservation.

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Doing business in West Bengal

List of approvals and clearances required

Department

Incorporation of the company Registrar of companies
Registration, Industrial Entrepreneurs Memorandum, Industrial licences Department of industries, West Bengal State Government
Permission for land use Department of industries, West Bengal State Government
Allotment of land West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation Limited (WBIDC), West Bengal Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation, West Bengal Small Scale Industries Development Corporation
Site environmental approval West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB)
No Objection Certificate and consent under Water and Pollution Control Act West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB)
Registration under states sales tax act and central and state excise act Excise department, Government of West Bengal
Commercial taxes Excise department, Government of West Bengal
Sanction of power West Bengal State Electricity Board, Kolkata Electric Supply Corporation, DamodarValley Corporation, Durgapur Projects Limited, DishegarhPower Supply Company Limited, according to area demarcated.
Power feasibility West Bengal State Electricity Board, Kolkata Electric Supply Corporation, DamodarValley Corporation, Durgapur Projects Limited, DishegarhPower Supply Company Limited, according to area demarcated.
Power connection West Bengal State Electricity Board, Kolkata Electric Supply Corporation, DamodarValley Corporation, Durgapur Projects Limited, DishegarhPower Supply Company Limited, according to area demarcated.
Approval of construction activity and building plan Public works department, Government of West Bengal, State Water Investigation Department

Cost parameter

Cost estimates

Source

Cost of land (per sq ft) US$ 4 to US$ 100 Industry sources
Hotel room cost (per night) US$ 108 to US$ 152 Indian hotel survey
Cost of office space (rent per sq ft) US$ 4 to US$ 12 Industry sources
Cost of residential space (rent per sq ft) US$ 2.6 to US$ 6.3 Industry sources
Power Commercial: 22 cents per kWh
Industrial: 33 cents per kWh
West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited
Water Commercial and industrial: US$ 11 to US$ 15 per month Kolkata Municipal Corporation

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More Information on West Bengal

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