The new Internet Cable Landing Station (ICLS) Policy 2023 can bring investments of up to Rs 10,000 for West Bengal. The new policy was announced at the Bengal Global Business Summit. The new policy announced by the government focuses on being carrier-neutral. This is what major tech companies prefer when they are looking to invest. As per a Telegraph report, the ICLS policy states that companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon are more interested if the ICLS is carrier-neutral. It enables these companies to get better control over their data. Along with that, there's higher flexibility in connectivity options.
The major tech investors would prefer to partner with multiple carriers instead of a single one when it comes to ICLS. The new policy addresses the cost challenges faced by businesses. Thus, the stamp duty and registration for any transaction that is related to setting up ICLS projects will be 100% exempted by the government. Additionally, the electricity duty and labour cess will be waived.
The new policy also brings non-financial incentives for the investors. The electricity used by the ICLS will be classified as 'industrial', regardless of the location. Further, there will be an uninterrupted water supply from the government and the RoW (right of way) rules have been simplified. The government is also working on setting up a single window clearance system for the ICLS projects.
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The ICLS Policy 2023 proposes to bring 10 cable landing stations to Bengal by 2025. These cable landing stations will come on the coastal line of the state. Digha has been recognised as one of the appropriate locations for this and other locations will be notified by the government soon. At the sectoral session, the government also unveiled the West Bengal Cyber Security Strategy, 2023 and the West Bengal Data Privacy Guideline, 2023.