Hyderabad: The Telangana Government on Wednesday issued orders unveiling its Rural Technology Policy aimed at developing rural areas into emerging Technology Centres.
“Information Technology and its allied sectors have been one of the main reasons for India’s emergence as an economic powerhouse. Apart from contributing to about 10% of the country’s GDP, this sector also provides employment to over 3.5 million professionals, of which a majority of them come from rural areas of the country.
Realizing the importance of this availability of large talent pool in rural areas, the Government of Telangana aims to develop the rural areas of the state into emerging Technology Centres, which in turn aid wealth and job creation.
Additionally, rural areas offer significant advantage, in terms of cost of living, operations cost, availability of skilled human resources at low cost, low commuting time, etc. These locations account for over 25% saving, as compared to large cities.
Past experiences and pilot projects from other regions show that these Rural IT Centres are capable of contributing to a wide array of industry needs,” said Principal Secretary (IT) Jayesh Ranjan in GO MS No. 6 issued today.
The State Government has identified some areas where Rural Technology Centres (RTCs) can be set up. They include data processing, data entry,
data management and document digitization; Voice related services that offer inbound call support such as customer service, inquiry handling, technical support services etc. and outbound call support such as product promotions, market research, customer feedback and HR related services, financial accounting, legal support, web-marketing.
“As the Information Technology sector is transforming rapidly with the growth of sub-sectors such as Data Analytics, Gaming & Animation, Social Media etc, it is just a matter of time before these rural centres become centres of development and support for these technologies,” said Jayesh Ranjan.
For an IT centre to qualify as a Rural Technology Centre, it has to meet the prescribed criteria. The centre should be setup either in a Mandal or Village Panchayat level with less than 50,000 populatio. The location of the IT centre should be at a distance of atleast 50 km from the nearest city.
Through this policy, in the next three years, the State Government wish to develop one Rural Technology Centre in each of the 10 districts (old) of the State; Provide employment to at least 2,500 people through RTCs and train 10,000 rural youth through TASK with the skills required by RTCs.
The State Government has come up with a comprehensive set of incentives to encourage companies to set up RTCs. The first five companies in each town will get reimbursement of panchayat taxes for first three years of operation.
For promotion of IT events (by trade association) in rural locations, the government would provide reimbursement/sponsorship for the event up to a maximum of Rs. 5 Lakhs or 50% of the event cost, whichever is lower.
A total of 50% exhibition stall rental cost or Rs. 50,000, whichever is lower, will be reimbursed for participating in the notified national/international exhibitions limited to 9 sq.mts. of space.
IT companies setting up operations in rural locations will be permitted to avail renewable energy under open access system from within the state after paying cost component to DISCOMs as fixed by ERC (subject to a maximum of one third of their total power requirements) and 50% investment subsidy on fixed capital Investment,
with a maximum limit per unit of Rs. 40 Lakhs limited to the first 3 companies. Thereafter, investment subsidy will be fixed at 10%, with a maximum limit per unit of Rs. 8 Lakhs. Rental subsidy of 25% per square feet for three years for the first 3 companies will be given.
Thereafter, rental subsidy shall be fixed at 10% per square feet for three years. It also offered 25% reimbursement on Internet and Telephone charges for the first 3 years of operations and 100% exemption from payment of SD/EMD and cost of tender document.
As a part of Telangana Academy for Skills and Knowledge (TASK), the Government of Telangana will create skill development centres and Faculty Development programs for colleges and training institutions in rural areas.
Training subsidy of Rs. 2,500/month/person for 6 months and Recruitment Assistance at the rate of Rs. 20,000 per employee for a minimum annual recruitment of 50 new IT professionals from the colleges located in Telangana will be given.
The RTCs will also exemption from the purview of the Telangana Pollution Control Act and will be permitted to file self-certificates in other acts including the Factories Act, the Maternity Benefit Act, Shops & Establishments Act, the Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, the Payment of Wages Act, the Minimum Wages Act and the Employment Exchanges (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act. They will also get general permission for three shift operations with women working in the night for IT/ITES units/ companies. (INN)